Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare Changes to Gutting Medicaid

Just as most Americans are unaware of the high number of Americans provided healthcare by Planned Parenthood, they also have no idea about percentage of people Medicaid covers and the impact of gutting Medicaid. Data from Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission provide percentages for adults for ages 19 to 64 together show the following shockingly high numbers: 20 % of all Americans, 49% of all births, 64% of all nursing home residents, 12% of all adults, 40% of all poor adults, 30% of all adults with disabilities, 39% of all children, 76% of all poor children and 60% of all children with disabilities. So this destruction of health care is not an improvement in health care as Republicans claim. It is based on Paul Ryan’s dream over a beer keg in college of eliminating entitlement programs and moving unbelievable amounts of money from government budgets to tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and health care companies.

Why aren’t we looking at the base problem of denying Americans the right to health care as all other Western societies support? The debate is all about how expensive health care is and the need to remove entitlement to save money but without looking at ways to really reduce the cost. A single payer system would remove huge profits to insurance companies and allow for a truly improved system. California recently revived a single payer system for consideration in California but it was sent back to committee because of its high cost without federal support. Health care for all is expensive and as long as it is not considered a citizen’s right to have, I don’t expect any real progress in reaching it.

The Senate version of Trumpcare 2.0 is even worse than that of the House’s bill passed recently. Senate bill is cruel because it ravages care for the least amongst us. They both are designed as a major tax cut for the wealthy and companies with reductions in over $800 billion from current health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is determined to get this bill passed rapidly with some changes vs. House bill to give cover to the Republicans in the 2018 and 2020 elections. It is seems better to some because it phases out Medicaid more slowly but ultimately achieves the same objectives. Source: G.O.P. Health Plan Really a Rollback of Medicaid by Margot Sanger-Katz, June 20, 2017, New York Times athttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/us/politics/senate-health-care-bill.html?ref=todayspaper

Action

  • Thank our representatives for fighting the Trumpcare 2.0 legislation as farce and standing up to defeat this bill in the coming weeks.

Highlights of Bay Area Bioscience Events week of June 26, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 27, 2017, Topic: “Recent Advances in Addressing Recruitment, Enrollment and Retention of Women In Cardiovascular Medical Device Clinical Trials,” Speaker: Tami Shipman , Director of Clinical Affairs, Vascular Dynamics
  • PBSS MiniSymposium, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, Event: “Immuno-Oncology: Advances in Translating from Bench to Clinic,” Organizers: Snow Ge (Nektar), Deborah Charych (Nektar), Wenfeng Xu (Genentech)
  • ASQ Biomedical Division, Wednesday Evening, June 28, 2017, Event: Roundtable – Update on Software Regulations: FDA’s 21st Century Cures Act, and the EU’s Medical Device Regulation (MDR), Speaker: Tim Stein, Moderator: Barry Craner, former Vice President of Quality and Regulatory, Stellartech Research Corporation, FASQ.
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, June 28, 2017, Topic: “Turning Tumor Mutations into Personalized Cancer Therapies,” Speaker: Karin Jooss, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Office, Gritstone Oncology, Inc.

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through October 2017 with Audreys Picks June 26, 2017. There is a new Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through June 25, 2017 posting also available in pdf.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | June 15, 2017

Fight to Save Quality Health Care for All Continues

Fight to Save Quality Health Care for All Continues

“States Lead the Fight Against Trump’s Birth Control Rollback”

by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, June 9, 2017, New York Times shares information about state action to protect women from losing rights to birth control under Obama Care.Nevada recently passed new legislation to guarantee access to birth control. “With the future of the Affordable Care Act — former President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation — in doubt and the Trump administration planning to roll back the act’s mandate that employers cover contraceptives, the battle over birth control is shifting to the states.” Several states have passed new legislation focused on birth control pills being accessible but also other means of contraception in some states.

Currently, 28 states have contraceptive equity laws passed in the 1990s in place but now see threat from Trump administration. Tom Price the Health and Human Services secretary believes that all women can afford birth control. See full artile at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/us/politics/states-lead-the-fight-against-trumps-birth-control-rollback.html?_r=2&mtrref=undefined&mtrref=www.nytimes.com

Republicans in Congress have a new vocabulary regarding the Trumpcare bill. A Senator from West Virginia calls the defunding of Medicaid a “transition period.” Paul Ryan liked to call Thumpcare bringing back choice. Somehow they underestimate constituent anger over removing coverage no matter what you call it. Senator Peter Sullivan, The Hill notes I had an interesting exchange just now with Sen. Capito on 7 yr phaseout of Medicaid expansion money. She prefers to say “transitional period” See at https://twitter.com/PeterSullivan4/status/875071672285581313

Republican Senators are working behind closed doosr to draft a new health care bill. They want to have it passed by July 4th although the difficulties they are experiencing getting conservatives and moderates to agree on terms is expected to delay that goal. We must keep pressing representatives to stop the taking away of healthcare from 23 million citizens and raising rates out of reach for older citizens.

The ACLU reports that last week, Senate Republican leadership used an obscure rule, known as Rule 14, to let them bypass public hearings and rush through legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.This is on top of the fact that negotiations about the bill have been held largely in secret and the public and the press have yet to even get a glimpse of the legislation. They are also trying to deny press access to Senators outside the chambers.

Take Action

Pick up the phone to save health care   Even if you’ve already sent your letter, there’s still more you can do to help stop the high cost health care bill. Call your Senators at 1-844-586-9567 and demand that they fight for your health, not handouts to drug and insurance companies

Highlights of Bioscience Events in Bay Area Weeks of June 15 – June 23, 201

  • WIB Plenary Session, Monday Late Afternoon, June 19, 2017; Event: Plenary Event at BIO Convention: “Pitch Perfect Challenge” Date and Time: Monday, June 19, 2017, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PST
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 20, 2017; Topic: TBA, Speaker: John “JB” Foreman, Engineer-Consultant,Thirty Five Engineering
  • JLABS, Tuesday Morning, June 20, 2017; Event: “Meet with… Novartis Venture Fund”
  • Rosenman Institute, Wednesday, June 21, 2017; Event: 4th Annual Rosenman Conference
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, June 21, 2017; Topic: ”Interpreting the Voice of Customer (VoC) i.e. Surgeon Feedback to Design Next-Generation Medical Device Solutions,” Speaker: Rachit Ohri, CEO and Founder, Enable Life Sciences, LLC, Cambridge, MA
  • BIO Talent Connect, June 22, 2017, Date and Time: Thursday, June 22, 2017, 2:00pm to 6:30pm; Location: San Diego Convention Center, Ballroom 20AB
  • CABS Conference, Saturday, June 24, 2017;Event: 2017 CABS BIOPACIFIC CONFERENCE; Theme: Leading the New Wave of Life Sciences Innovation – Technology, Policy, and Investment Trends across the Pacific Rim

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through October 2017 with Audreys Picks June 19,, 2017.

Audrey

 

Results of Congressional Budget Committee Scoring on AHCA 2.0

The Congressional Budget Committee issued the scoring of the revised Republican American Health Care Bill 2.0 passed by the House on May 4. Until the completion of the scoring, the House couldn’t send their version to the Senate as the scoring was required first so all that rush was unnecessary.

 

Trumpcare means higher premiums and deductibles, especially for the elderly and those already sick. It puts a new age tax on people over 50 and means 23 million people will lose their healthcare coverage while giving billions in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It would leave 14 million more people uninsured next year than under the Affordable Care Act and 23 million more by 2026.

 

The new estimate concludes an extreme rise in insurance costs in many states for those who are sick or have pre-existing conditions while premiums would fall for the young and healthy. The Senate plans to rewrite the House approved bill but even Mitch McConnell, the majority leader is uncertain of the chances of finding a majority to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

 

The new health bill saves the government billions but only $119 versus the original $337 billion in the first version defeated in March. The lowered savings was necessary for the moderate Republicans to approve the bill. It’s clear this new House bill has major cost savings to pay for lowered taxes for the wealthy but not sufficient coverage for all. This is not surprising since Republicans have always wanted reduced health care costs, not increased coverage. They have been using empty promise of more freedom of choice for patients to try to cover up their real intent.  Yes, there will be access to health care harking back to former health care system prior to the Affordable Care Act but at a very cruel price for lower income citizens. Latter seem to get this as demonstrated in town hall meetings where they share their understanding of the terrible consequences of Trumpcare. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/24/us/cbo-score-ahca-amendments.html?_r=1

 

A comparison of the amended bill with key components of the Affordable Care Act shows repeal of  the individual mandate, employer mandate and out-of-pocket subsidies along with changes in original essential health benefits, Medicaid expansion, premium subsidies. Coverage of dependents till 26 is the only part left intact.  See graphic in article at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/20/us/changes-to-republican-health-plan.html?_r=0

 

The stark difference of cost between Obamacare and Trumpcare for a 21 year old and 64 year old with same income of $26,500 tells the story very plainly. The older worker would pay $13,600 vs. $1,250 in states with some regulation changes while the difference would be $16,100 vs. $1,750 in states with no regulation changes.

 

Single Payer System Considered in California

California state legislators are evaluating a single payer system for California but concerns about the extreme cost to state taxpayers currently make it unacceptable. The costs of the insurance companies and their high paid executives go away but it would be a hard pill to swallow for taxpayers to pick up the total tab otherwise shared with premium payments, co-pays, deductibles, employers and the Federal government. There is a more detailed study underway conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and commissioned by National Nurses United to look at the theoretical savings of a universal health care system and judge the potential success of a state going on its own expected to be released soon.

“California would have to collect roughly $200 billion in private funding to run the $400 billion program, most likely through a payroll tax that Californians would pay instead of premiums, co-pays and deductibles, according to a long-awaited Senate committee report. The $200 billion is more than the state’s entire $124 billion general fund budget, which pays for everything from K-12 education to social services.”

Governor Brown is skeptical about the taxpayers being able to pay for this plan on their own. The discussion is causing a split in California Democratic party. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/27/california-democrats-wrestle-with-proposal-to-replace-private-health-insurance-with-single-payer-system/

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who is frontrunner to replace Brown and working on his own universal health care plan is far more receptive.

Single Payer System Considered in California

California state legislators are evaluating a single payer system for California but concerns about the extreme cost to state taxpayers currently make it unacceptable. The costs of the insurance companies and their high paid executives go away but it would be a hard pill to swallow for taxpayers to pick up the total tab otherwise shared with premium payments, co-pays, deductibles, employers and the Federal government. There is a more detailed study underway conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and commissioned by National Nurses United to look at the theoretical savings of a universal health care system and judge the potential success of a state going on its own expected to be released soon.

“California would have to collect roughly $200 billion in private funding to run the $400 billion program, most likely through a payroll tax that Californians would pay instead of premiums, co-pays and deductibles, according to a long-awaited Senate committee report. The $200 billion is more than the state’s entire $124 billion general fund budget, which pays for everything from K-12 education to social services.”

Governor Brown is skeptical about the taxpayers being able to pay for this plan on their own. The discussion is causing a split in California Democratic party. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/27/california-democrats-wrestle-with-proposal-to-replace-private-health-insurance-with-single-payer-system/

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who is frontrunner to replace Brown and working on his own universal health care plan is far more receptive.

Highlights of Bioscience Events in Bay Area Weeks of May 28 – June 10, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, May 30, 2017; Topic: “Emerging regulations and their impact on the medical device industry;” Speaker: Patrick Lee, Senior Director of RA/QA, Vascular Dynamics
  • PBSS, Friday, June 2, 2017; Event: Drug-Induced Liver injury (DILI): risk assessment in drug discovery and clinical development; Speakers:William Treem (J&J), Michael Rothenberg (Genentech), Weida Tong (NCTR/FDA), Yazen Alnouti (UNMC), Donna Dambach (Genentech), Cyrus Khojasteh (Genentech), Kenneth Brouwer (Qualyst), Gary Peltz (Stanford Medical)
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 6, 2017; Topic: “Why Japan should be top of an OUS growth strategy;” Speaker: David Smith, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Asia MedMarket Access/MedMarket Access LLC

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through October 2017 with Audreys Picks May 28, 2017. You can download Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through May 28, 2017 as well.

Audrey

Why Has Lowering Taxes for Wealthy Become Focus of Improving Health Care?

At this point in the President 45 tenure, nothing should surprise us. It seems dumb to take $880 billion dollars out of the health care supported by the government known as Obamacare to provide major tax cuts for the wealthy.  How can the government provide improvements in the Affordable Care Act which everyone knows needs to happen to improve healthcare by gutting the funding of health care for all and eviscerating provided care.

 

“The Affordable Care Act is flawed and needs repair. Something has to be done to control the rising cost of health care. That is what we should be trying to address. Lowering taxes on the wealthy should not be the focus of Congressional reform of healthcare. But that is the focus of this legislation. They want to lower taxes and lower the standards that health insurance companies must meet….Republicans think the way to reduce healthcare costs is to allow insurance companies to cover less.” Obamacare succeeded in improving the level of coverage insurance companies would have to provide. That is one of the things we should not change. We have to find another way to lower premiums and other costs. Source: “New GOP Health Care Plan Is Dumb,” by Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News, May 4, 2017 at http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/43382-focus-new-gop-health-care-plan-is-dumb

 

The House is pleased that the American Health Care Act has now moved over to the Senate for consideration. Trump and Ryan are celebrating the passage of this flawed, worsened bill in the House as if it achieved an important victory in providing an improvement over the Obamacare bill. Senators are expected to slow down the process and wait for new bill version to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. One expects the worsened nature of the revised bill will be exposed for citizens to see. House Republicans Narrowly Pass Controversial Bill to Revise Affordable Care Act,” by Ed O’Keefe, Paige Winfield Cunningham and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post, May 4, 2017 at http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/43383-house-republicans-narrowly-pass-controversial-bill-to-revise-affordable-care-act

Meanwhile, Trump has not upheld his promises to voters and seemingly doesn’t care. He has his plate full with saving his presidency as the demands for his impeachment expand and get louder. The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller today by the Justice Department as special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election means that this investigation is finally serious and Trump won’t be able to table it. See article “Former FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed to lead Trump-Russia investigation” at http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/17/robert-mueller-trump-russia-investigation/

Upcoming Life Science Meetings in Bay Area Week of May 21,2017

  • BioPharma PM Conference, Monday-Wednesday, May 22-24, 2017, Event: Stepping Up and Stepping Out
  • Golden Gate Polymer Forum , Monday Evening, May 22,2017,Topic: “”Self-Assembly of Polymer-Grafted Nanocrystals via Solvent Annealing,” Speaker: Ricardo Ruiz, Western Digital Corporation
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, May 23, 2017, Topic: “Sterilization,” Speaker:  Larry Nichols, CEO, Steri-Tek
  • JLABS, Tuesday Morning, May 23, 2017, Topic: “Rough seas or smooth sailing? Navigating Collaboration Agreements;” Speakers: Angela Rusakova | Lead Client Service and Audit Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP;Yelda Kaya | Sr. Director Transactions, Johnson & Johnson Innovation; William J. Newell | CEO, Sutro Biopharma; Moderator: Lesley Stolz | Head of JLABS, CA, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, May 24, 2017, Topic: “Circulatory Factors as Modulators of Brain Function and Aging;” Speaker: Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology, Stanford University, Co-Founder, Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board, Alkahest

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks May 17, 2017.

Audrey

House Republicans Throw Caution to Winds and Pass Absurb AHCA

The House just approved the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) with two new amendments without even getting nonpartisan Budget Office review. Essentially pleasing Trump was more important than keeping their commitments to constituents made while considering the AHCA earlier. This bill is far worse and removes the essential health benefits that expanded health care to millions under the Affordable Care Act. They were in a hurry to deliver passage and head out for spring break without even considering the severe impact on over 20 million who will lose care. Along with schoolboy Paul Ryan they had a beer party in the Rose Garden to celebrate a bill which now will move to the Senate for more serious consideration and potentially a total redo.

Tom Price is another huckster who aggressively sells ideas without need to be truthful and never answers the questions being asked about his sales pitch. In discussing the just passed AHCA bill by the House, he claims that there are no cuts to the Medicaid program, but rather resources would be doled out “in a way that allows states greater flexibility.” Ultimately, he insisted, patients would benefit. “Imagine a system that works better for patients.” “What we’re fashioning is a system that would allow the states to tailor their Medicaid program to those specific individuals, thereby saving money, yes, but also making it so that they have a higher level of care than they currently do. That sounds like it makes a lot of sense.” There is no truth in his claims but he sounds so authoritative in his statements.

Price repeated the same logic during  interview on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, May 7th. “What we’re trying to do is to improve the Medicaid system, make it more responsive to patients so that there are more resources to be able to be utilized for the disabled and the aged. That makes a whole lot of sense,” he said. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell repeatedly tried to press him on the issue but finally gave up: “I think a lot of people wonder how taking more than $800 billion out of something is going to put more resources in it.”(Source HHS Chief Insists Cutting Nearly $1 Trillion From Medicaid Will Help Patients, written by Daniel Politi, Slate http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/43448-hhs-chief-insists-cutting-nearly-1-trillion-from-medicaid-will-help-patients

Annie Kuster’s campaign for Congress summarizes the impact of this new attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare as follows:

  • “Allows insurance companies to discriminate against or even deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Eliminates insurance coverage for veterans who rely on the Affordable Care Act.
  • Cuts Medicare and Medicaid, raising health care costs for America’s seniors and low income families.
  • Guts essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, emergency services, hospitalization, pregnancy, newborn care, mental health and substance misuse services.”

Fortunately, the bill is headed to the Senate where Senators indicate they will start to develop new law from scratch and not rely on House bill for basis. Perhaps a bipartisan approach to repairing Obamacare and delivering a bill good for all can come out of their efforts. The outright lying coming from the White House, Paul Ryan and Tom Price regarding their version is now clear as cover to the real objective of cutting $800 billion dollars from health care spending.

Highlights of BioScience Events Week of May 7th

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, May 9, 2017; Topic: “Liquid Biopsies: A Fundamental Advance in Cancer Care;” Mark Jacobstein, Chief User Engagement Officer, Guardant Health
  • QB3, Late Thursday Afternoon, May 11, 2017; Topic: “Leadership in Biopharma: a Conversation with John Milligan, CEO of Gilead Sciences;” Speakers: John Milligan, CEO, Gilead Sciences; Harold E. “Barry” Selick, Ph.D. CEO, Threshold; Brook Byers, Founding Partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks May 7 2017. You can download Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through April 23, 2017as well.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 30, 2017

Continued Republican War Against Reasonable Health Care

Continued Republican War Against Reasonable Health Care

The Republican controlled Congress continues to fret about how to accomplish the President’s campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare without blowing up current available care. This week witnessed another attempt to wiggle out of promises not to destroy essential services to moderate taxpayers while satisfying conservatives to save hugely on entitlement costs.  It appears they hope to wear down opposition and pass something that meets their original goals but that doesn’t seem reasonably possible. They weren’t willing to invoke a government shutdown or rather don’t trust #45 on this issue. They enjoyed watching Trump blame the Democrats rather than becoming the cause of blame themselves.

See details of negotiations among wings of Republican party in “Health Law Repeal Will Miss Trump’s 100-Day Target Date,” New York Times, April 27, 2017 by Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/us/politics/republicans-propose-short-term-funding-plan-to-avert-shutdown.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FHealth%20Care%20Reform&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection&_r=0

Highlights of Bioscience Meetings in Bay Area Week of April 30, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, May 2, 2017, Topic: “Current Trends in Animal Models for Preclinical Evaluations;” Speaker: Félix Vega, VMD, Principal Consultant, Preclinical Consultation
  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Tuesday, May 2, 2017; Topic: “Breakthrough Discoveries in Aging Research;” Panelists: Rochelle (Shelley) Buffenstein (Staff Scientist, Calico); Dena Dubal (Assistant Professor, UCSF); Rachel Brem (Associate Professor, Buck Institute); Danica Chen (Associate Professor, UC Berkeley)
  • JLABS Bay Area, Tuesday Mid Day, May 2, 2017; Topic: “Money Matters – Insider Tips on Raising Money;” Speaker: Julie Papanek, Partner, Canaan Partners
  • NCC AWIS, Tuesday Evening, May 2, 2017; Event: NCC AWIS 23rd Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks April 30, 2017 FIN. You can download Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through April 30, 2017 as well.

Audrey

 

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 23, 2017

Trump Makes Another Attempt to Pass Revised Trumpcare

Trump Presses To Deliver Healthcare Revision Again

Here we go again! Trumpcare revisited as the President worries about the approach of his first 100 days in office without delivering the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.  Two Republican lawmakers, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, a co-Chair of the moderate Tuesday Group are supposedly working on changes for ObamaCare replacement bill.

“According to a summary of the amendment obtained by Politico and confirmed to The Hill by MacArthur’s office, states would have the option to apply for waivers to opt out of some of ObamaCare’s core requirements. One of the limited waivers would allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions as long as the state also offered high-risk pool coverage. The measure would also allow states to repeal ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which define the minimum benefits a plan can offer, including mental healthcare and prescription drugs.”

The change that might deliver more conservatives to approve Trumpcare would likely reduce support of moderate Republicans. Many in the Republican conference wanted to maintain ObamaCare’s protection for people with pre-existing conditions and many moderates also pledged to protect that provision at town halls over the recess. (Source “Moderate, conservative GOP leaders say they are nearing healthcare deal, by Peter Sullivan, The Hill, April 20, 2017 at http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/329662-moderate-conservative-gop-leaders-say-they-are-nearing-healthcare-deal)

Republicans have their hands full with preventing government shutdown next week so are not likely to want to undertake another potential defeat of health care legislation. Meanwhile the President is also promising tax reform in a hurry while legislators predict end of the year timeframe. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says tax bill will be done by year end. (Source: “Mnuchin Says Tax Overhaul Will Happen by Year’s End,” by Lynnley Browning and Saleha Mohsin, April 20, 2017, Bloomberg, at https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-20/mnuchin-says-tax-overhaul-plan-will-still-happen-by-year-s-end)

The President obviously doesn’t have a clue about the hard work of getting laws written, revised and passed and the time it takes. He likes laws by fiat or executive orders which he enjoys signing in front of cameras with large flourish of his marking pen.

Highlights of Bioscience Meetings Week of April 23, 2017

  • PBSS Symposium, Monday, April 24, 2017, Topic: “Mechanistic Drug Metabolism for Drug Candidate Optimization – A Mini-symposium for Medicinal Chemists and DMPK Scientists,” Organizers: Cyrus Khojasteh and Donglu Zhang (Genentech)
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, April 25, 2017, Topic: “A Clinical Trial Roadmap: Who, What, When, and How – Practices, Perspectives and Personal Insights,” Speaker: David Larwood, CEO,Valley Fever Solutions
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, April 26, 2017. Topic: “The Right Medicine for the Right Patient – Challenges and Opportunities of Precision Medicine,” Speaker: Dietmar Berger, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Head of Clinical Development for Hematology/Oncology Product Development, Roche/Genentech
  • WIB, Thursday Evening, April 27, 2017, Topic: “Hot Trends in Personalized Medicine,” Panel: Moderator, Amy Swanson, Illumina; Jackie Benson, J&J Innovations; Tara Maddala, Grail;Kristin McDonald Gibson, Invitae; Pam Garzone, Pfizer

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks April 23, 2017 FIN. You can download Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through April 23, 2017as well.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 10, 2017

Revised Trumpcare Doesn’t Gain Traction

Revised Trump Care Doesn’t  Gain Traction

For a brief time last week, Paul Ryan tried to resuscitate effort to pass revised version of Trumpcare. The even more unsatisfactory bill died quickly.

Meanwhile Tom Price is in action trying to turn back healthcare in other ways to achieve budget cuts for the wealthy off backs of middle class and working class citizens. Efforts to attack women’s health care and reproductive rights and reduce Planned Parenthood services are central. These guys don’t get the value of Planned Parenthood providing trusted services for women across the country which for-profit providers don’t provide.

Highlights of This Week’s Bay Area Life Science Events

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, April 11, 2017, Topic: ”Integrated, Intelligent SmartDermal™ Therapeutics,” Speaker: Patrick Ruane, Ph.D., Senior VP Research and Development, Chrono Therapeutics
  • CLSA, Tuesday MidDay, April 11, 2017, Event: “Lunch & Learn – Common Stock Valuations: Myths and Reality,” Speakers: Angela Rusakova, Lead Client Service and Audit Partner; Camron Uhr, Managing Director, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP
  • WIB, Wednesday Evening, April 12, 2017, Subject: WIB-National Webinar “Risky Business: Mitigating Risk in the Life Sciences,” Speaker: Gretchen Stup, Sr. Consultant at Latham Biopham Group

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks April 10, 2017.

Audrey

Republican Administration Seeks Major Cuts in Public Health Agency Budgets

The Trump administration continues to mercilessly pound agency budgets. The deadline of April 28 for approving the continuing 2017 budget resolution will likely prevent the proposed cuts for this fiscal year for health agency budget. Congress is most likely to pass a budget resolution extending the current budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The proposed health agency cuts proposed by the Trump administration for the balance of fiscal 2017 would slash $1.23 billion from the NIH’s budget, cut $40 million from the FDA’s budget and $50 million from the CMS and $314 million from the CDC. This effort as already noted is unlikely to pass due to time constraints to modify the bill by the deadline. But this level of cuts portends what is likely to come in the 2018 budget.

“Trump Calls For NIH, FDA Cuts In Fy17,” by Steve Usdin, BioCentury,   https://www.biocentury.com/bc-extra/politics-policy/2017-03-28/trump-calls-nih-fda-cuts-fy17

Last week the Senate took away protections to Title IX funding of family planning instituted by President Obama with the tie breaking vote cast by VP Pence. Title X is a federal program dedicated solely to family planning with more than 4 million people relying on it for preventive health care. The Senate voted Friday to overturn those protections.

The tide is shifting regarding ideology regarding the role of government. There is a moderate wing of House Republicans that recognizes their constituents see health care as a right. The moderate Republicans certainly recognize from their recent experience on the Trumpcare bill fiasco that their constituents want universal health care.

California Renews Efforts to Pass Single Payer System

A single-payer health care system is not a new idea in California. A bill was passed to that effect a decade ago but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. While there is support for such coverage there are also hurdles to overcome. Key provisions include:

  • Inpatient, outpatient, emergency care, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care
  • No co-pays or insurance deductibles
  • Ability to choose your own doctor from a huge list of health care providers rather than an insurer’s network

Hurdles are financial and political. Governor Jerry Brown can’t see where the money would come from. Wiithout Federal support to provide Medicare and Medicaid funding, there wouldn’t be sufficient funds. Taxpayers would have to agree to pay mandated costs in form of higher taxes in place of health insurance. Organizations that propose limited government see such a plan as a utopian socialist plan.

Health care delivery corporations who have taken over organizing delivery of care from single physicians who once were overwhelming majority of doctors delivering care. This structure in past has been replaced by doctors who are on staff of these health care delivery organizations. Their business model is that of a for profit corporation that seeks to raise rates each year to show increasing profits to their shareholders. This is a “market” based model which the USA has developed alongside mostly single payer systems in other highly developed democracies. Citizens might reject the idea of “socialist” basis which opponents have used successfully for many years.  Or be afraid of losing prompt access to physicians which single payer systems can experience waiting lists are created to accommodate insufficient services for nonemergency care.

Source: House bill SB562 entitled Healthy California Act was introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara and Sen. Toni Atkins. The full text is available at http://oneplanmychoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SB562_Amended-3-30-17.pdf.

Chuck Todd provided interesting data on Meet the Press today showing that there are 24 moderate Republicans who recognize their constituents’ needs and wishes regarding the role of government are not in alignment with the Freedom Caucus members nor other house Republicans.

Other Congress people are planning to submit bills to Congress which would mean supporting the system as a nation. This seems unlikely with current control by Republicans but perhaps Bernie Sanders’ planned bill Medicare for all might shake loose interest from moderate Republicans.

When Charles Krauthammer writes in his Sunday editorial today that in the end, a single payer system will win out, I have hope that the tide has turned. Bernie Sanders’ new bill just might have a chance.

Action Items

  • Donate to Planned Parenthood to support this organization against the assaults of congressmen who don’t understand the value of Planned Parenthood in providing basic health care for millions of low income or those without health insurance. Planned Parenthood provides services efficiently and economically versus for profit health care institutions that don’t serve working class women with these services at affordable price.
  • Attend meeting about Single Payer Health Care in CA, Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 pm.

Location: Woodside Road United Methodist Church, 2000 Woodside Rd. Redwood City, Redwood City, CA 94061

Description: San Mateo County Democracy for America is proud to present Dr. Paul Song — a physician, progressive activist and member of the executive board of Physicians for a National Health Program — for updates about the new legislation for universal healthcare.Discover how California can show the rest of the country the way to provide excellent healthcare for less money and what we can do to help!Free Admission – Wheelchair Accessible
This monthly meeting is open to the public. For questions please contact Carole Dorshkind – cdorshkind@comcast.net or 650-766-2162

Details and registration at http://act.democracyforamerica.com/event/calendar_attend/4136/attend/?action_id=25414577&akid=9037.3160264.XFjFHC&ar=1&rd=1&refcode=g-cfe.d-20170331.m-9037.s-30330&taf=1

Bay Area Life Science Events Week of April 2, 2017

  • QB3, Monday MidDay, April 3, 2017, Topic: “How Federal Politics Impact Funding for Science and Startups, Speaker: Ryan Davison, government affairs manager at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC
  • JLABS, Thursday, April 6, 2017, Event: MedTech Innovator 2017: JLABS Pitch Event
  • Triple Ring Technologies, Thursday Evening, April 6, 2017, Topic: “The Future of Immuno-Neurology,” Speaker:Rich Casey, CEO, Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks April 2 2017.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | March 26, 2017

Trumpcare Goes Down in Defeat

Was the Defeat Of Trumpcare a Rookie Mistake or Disregard of Constituent Needs?

The American Health Care Act or Trumpcare never got to the starting line for a vote in the House. The Affordable Care Act, despite some flaws that could be mended by a nonpartisan Congress, continues in place. Trump blames the Democrats for not supporting its passage but also threatened to take down our current health care while Health agency is under the control of his appointed director Tom Price. #45’s total self-absorption makes it impossible for him to care about what is best for the American people or even understand what is at stake. His disregard for citizens along with total ignorance of governing and even knowing how legislation is brought to floor for vote were other factors in this big defeat.

President Trump doesn’t understand that his pugnacious approach to business deals doesn’t fit a democratic arena and House Speaker Ryan doesn’t understand what may be good for his Republican political career may not be effective in governing for the people. Despite his promises to deliver a vote on the American Health Care Act right up until the last moment, Trump’s threats and speaking from the bully pulprit didn’t convince the moderate Congressional Republicans to drop their concerns about facing their constituencies in 2018 nor the far right fail to move from their narrow ideology of spending money on the “other” being unacceptable. It was the cruel naiveté of the final bill—which offered to eliminate the ten essential health benefits—and unrealistic expectation that there were enough votes in the Republican party to carry it across the finish line that condemned passage of the bill.

The new administration and Speaker Paul Ryan tried to rush through a terrible piece of legislation that the majority of Americans oppose. “Their bill would have stripped health care away from millions of Americans and ended Medicaid as we know it. It would have taken us back to the days when insurance companies could choose not to cover essential health benefits like maternity or mental health coverage.” Source: Jim Messina, Co-Chair Organizing for Action

Remember that this defeat won’t eliminate the threat of Trump seeking revenge on the Affordable Care Act through a slow death under his administration. We must fight on for an improved ACA or better still Medicare for all to bring the USA to the standard of the Western world. The response of Americans to the heartless AHCA reminds us we now have an opportunity to work on eliminating the power of the top wealthy citizens who don’t share our historic values or believe in looking after our neighbors. There is much to do but an aware populace can achieve much.

Bioscience Events in Bay Area Week of March 26, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, March 28, 2017, Topic: “BioNews and Open Forum Discussions,” Speaker: Harry Wachob, President & Founder of B2DG
  • JLABS, Tuesday Morning, March 28, 2017, Topic: “Meet with …MPM Capital ”Program Overview,” Speakers: Vinay Bhaskar, Ph.D., Principal with MPM Capital;Luke Evnin | Managing Director, MPM Capital
  • Biomedical Engineering Society, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Event: 8th Annual Bay Area Biomedical Device Conference-Medical Devices in the Connected World
  • Bioscience Forum, Wednesday Evening, March 29, 2017, Topic: “Leveraging Biotech’s Novel Platforms to Tackle Global Health: A Unique Business Model to Overcome Financial Barriers,” Speaker: Eric Easom,Vice President Neglected Disease R&D, Anacor Pharmaceuticals (Acquired by Pfizer June, 2016)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Event: 8th Annual Bay Area Biomedical Device Conference-Medical Devices in the Connected World
  • PBSS Workshop, Thursday Afternoon, March 30 2017, Event: “Best CMC Practices for Successful Drug Development and Commercialization: Leveraging QbD and risk-based strategies for efficient CMC development,” Speakers: Prabu Nambiar, Edward Ciolkowski, James Bush (Syner-G Pharma Consulting)
  • AWIS NCC Workshop, Saturday, April 1, 2017, Workshop: “Leadership by Design: Using Design Thinking to transform your Career,” Workshop Leader: Christopher Ireland

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through June 2017 with Audreys Picks March 26 2017and Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through March 26, 2017

Audrey

 

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