Arkansas Senate OKs governor's Medicaid roadmap; Payer, pharma oppose Part D rebates

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> The Arkansas Senate has approved the plan of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) to maintain the state's existing private option for Medicaid expansion until the end of 2016 but to also form a task force to examine alternatives, according to the Southwest Times Record. Article

> Led by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, a coalition of insurers and pharmaceutical companies warned the U.S. House of Representatives against forcing drug makers to give Medicare Part D rebates to low-income beneficiaries, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Obama administration, which will release its 2015 budget soon, says such rebates could save $117 billion over 10 years. Article

> Cigna has formed a collaborative care initiative with Duke Connected Care, the insurer announced. Cigna now has 10 such agreements in place in North Carolina. Statement

Health Policy News

> Don't touch taxpayer premium subsidies. That was the unambiguous message the American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals--and by extension, thousands of acute care providers--sent to the U.S. Supreme Court in the form of amicus brief regarding the King v. Burwell case. Article

>The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released for public comment its shared nationwide roadmap for interoperability. Article

And finally … Leland Melvin: Coolest astronaut ever. Article