A wise man once said, “if at first you don’t succeed, you’d better hope your rivals don’t either,” or something like that. Republicans in Congress had their chance to shine, but with the recent failure of the American Health Care Act, Democrats are looking to beat them to the punch by improving the existing Affordable Care Act. A coalition, led by Senator Al Franken, proposed a bill that would require transparency from drug companies in R&D cost, acquisitions, investments, and other areas that influence pricing, and that information would then be publicly available. If passed, this bill could make congressional Democrats the modern-day healthcare heroes. They would be good enough, smart enough, and “doggone it” people would like them. Apparently, Sen. Franken already knows that.
Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to publish an academic paper last week, much to the chagrin of grad students who ‘just have too much going on this month to publish.’ The article, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, analyzes the effects the Affordable Care Act has had on Americans. He lays out some recommendations for improving health care under the ACA, and offers some lessons for future policy makers. In one of those lessons, he criticizes special interests like the pharmaceutical industry for being reluctant towards change, citing pharma lobbying against drug pricing legislation. Seems to us like that callout could be the source of some Obama JAMA drama.