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Trending News Today: Revised Healthcare Bill Unveiled

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
Published Online: Jul 14,2017
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor
Yesterday, Republican leaders released a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The new revisions would allow insurers to sell plans that do not comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards if they sell at least 1 plan that does, which was introduced by conservative legislators, according to The New York Times. The second different aspect of the law would provide an additional $45 billion to increase access to treatment for opioid misuse disorder. This provision was supported by senators whose states expanded Medicaid and have been affected by the opioid epidemic, according to the article. Additionally, the revisions would restore taxes on the very wealthy to fund the bill, which was to appease Senate leaders and moderates. Lastly, the BCRA would allow Americans to use money from health savings accounts (HSAs) for premiums. This idea was supported by more conservative lawmakers, according to the article.
 
Many employers are offering health plans that include access to HSAs, which is supported by GOP efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. A new study found that less than half of patients with HSAs deposited money into the account in 2016, suggesting that expanded access may not be desirable, according to Kaiser Health News. The study also found that the average contribution into HSAs was less than half of the maximum allowable contribution for families. While Republicans want to expand access to HSAs, the mandates may not be as effective as previously thought, according to the article.
 
A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the general public may not be supportive of healthcare reform legislation. The poll found that 61% of Americans are not in favor of the BCRA, which is a 6% increase from June, according to Kaiser Health News. Two-thirds of Americans also indicated that they did not support cuts to Medicaid. However, the ACA was viewed positively by half of those surveyed, according to the article.