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Kaiser Health News Original Stories

4. Political Cartoon: 'Repeel?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Repeel?'" by John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune.

Here's today's health policy haiku:

CONCERNS ABOUT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC CUT ACROSS DEMOGRAPHIC LINES

The worries are not
Just about kids and street drugs.
Seniors face risks too.

If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.

Summaries Of The News:

Administration News

5. As One Of Most Regulated Industries, Health Care Cheers Trump's One-In, Two-Out Order

The president has mandated that for every regulation an agency adopts it must get rid of two. Although the industry is praising the move, its consequences on Americans' health could be far reaching.

Stat: Trump Order On Regulations May Create Hurdles For FDA, Cures Act
President Trump on Monday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one that they adopt, a move that could have significant implications for the Food and Drug Administration. Trump, who vowed throughout his campaign to ease the burden of government regulations in order to promote innovation, pledged at the signing ceremony that the order would be “the biggest such act our country has ever seen.” “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be normalized control,” he said. (Kaplan, 1/30)

Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Industry Celebrates 'One-In, Two-Out' Executive Order Despite Unknowns 
Healthcare industry stakeholders are lauding President Donald Trump's latest executive order which requires executive departments or agencies to remove at least two previously implemented regulations for every new one issued. The order could have major ramifications for healthcare, one of the most regulated industries in the U.S. economy. Providers and vendors face a myriad of rules drafted by numerous agencies and departments, including the CMS, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (Rubenfire, 1/30)

Politico Pro: Trump's Regulatory Clampdown Called More Flash Than Substance 
President Donald Trump's crackdown on federal regulations could take months, if not years, to implement and likely faces costly court challenges. The executive order, which Trump signed on Monday, requires that federal agencies and departments identify at least two existing federal rules that can be eliminated every time they issues a new regulation. It also seeks to dramatically limit the cost of rules, declaring that the total price tag of new final regulations combined with repealed regulations "shall be no greater than zero" in fiscal year 2017. (Restuccia, 1/30)

Meanwhile, lawmakers want to know exactly how the Food and Drug Administration will be affected by the president's hiring freeze —

Stat: Democrats Press Trump On How Hiring Freeze Will Affect FDA
Eight Democratic senators are pressing the White House for answers on how the federal hiring freeze will affect the Food and Drug Administration. President Donald Trump’s memo last week freezing federal hiring did open the door to exemptions for positions needed to fill “public safety responsibilities.” But he did not define public safety — and no one seems quite sure whether the FDA falls into that category. (Kaplan, 1/30)

6. Immigration Ban Shakes Medical Industry That Relies Heavily On Foreign Professionals

In 2014, more than 15,000 foreign health care workers, nearly half of them physicians and surgeons, received H-1B visas, which are designed to bring skilled labor into the U.S. Meanwhile, hospitals are scrambling to identify patients who were scheduled to come into the country to receive medical care and will be affected by the ban.

Stat: US Health Care, Reliant On Foreign Workers, Struggles With Trump's Ban
President Trump’s temporary immigration ban could quickly undermine American health care, which relies heavily on foreign-born labor — including many workers from the Middle East — to fill critical gaps in care, industry specialists say. As many as 25 percent of physicians practicing in the US were born in another country. Rural clinics and public safety-net hospitals, in particular, rely on foreign medical school graduates to take care of isolated and vulnerable populations. (Ross and Blau, 1/30)

Stat: The Visas For Doctors, Scientists, And Patients — Explained
President Trump’s executive order on immigration has already had dramatic effects, and promises many more. Health care relies heavily on visa-holders: As many as 25 percent of physicians practicing in the US were born in another country. But thousands of scientists, students, trainees, and even patients are likewise reliant on visas to work, study, and receive health care in the US. (Sheridan, 1/31)

The Hill: Nonprofit: Trump's Immigration Order Could Contribute To Doctor Shortage
President Trump’s executive order on immigration could worsen the shortage of doctors in the United States, warns the Association of American Medical Colleges. “We are deeply concerned that the Jan. 27 executive order will disrupt education and research and have a damaging long-term impact on patients and health care,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch said in a statement Monday. (Hellmann, 1/30)

Politico Pro: Trump's Travel Ban Rattles Medical Residency Programs
Teaching hospitals may have to drop residency offers to medical students from countries affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration ban — a move that could exacerbate a shortage of doctors and limit patient care in underserved areas. The Association of American Medical Colleges has identified 260 applicants to U.S. residency programs who are from the seven countries covered by the ban. With the national residency match just 44 days away — in the midst of the 90-day ban — some programs may opt to deny slots to doctors who can't matriculate. One teaching hospital already has instructed its staff to cancel residency offers to medical students from some countries, an anonymous official told the Los Angeles Times. (Diamond, 1/31)

Stat: Hospitals Scramble To Aid Overseas Patients After Trump Order
Some of the nation’s leading medical centers have identified more than three dozen patients who were scheduled to come to the United States to receive medical care from the countries subject to President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Johns Hopkins Medicine has found at least 11 patients who live in the Muslim-majority nations targeted by the immigration ban — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen — and who were set to travel to the United States in the next 90 days for medical care. Another major health system, Cleveland Clinic, told STAT that it had nine patients scheduled to come to the United States for care from the affected countries. (Scott and Thielking, 1/30)

And the shock waves from the executive order reverberate through other areas of the industry —

CQ Roll Call: Medical Groups And Researchers Question Trump Immigration Order
Hospitals, medical research institutions and public universities expressed concern over the fallout of President Donald Trump’s executive action over the weekend that impacted immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries. But several major organizations stopped short of sharply criticizing the order that sparked a series of protests at major airports across the country. The order signed by Trump on Saturday indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the United States and prevents other refugees from entering the country for 120 days. It also blocks citizens of several predominately Muslim countries — Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya — from gaining entry to the country for 90 days. Confusion ensued over the weekend as the administration appeared to flip-flop several times on key aspects of the policy, like whether legal residents with green cards were exempt from the ban. (Williams, 1/30)

Morning Consult: Medical Groups Worry Immigration Action Could Harm Patient Care
Some of the nation’s leading health groups are concerned that the Trump administration action on immigration could hurt patients by blocking U.S. entry to health professionals or those seeking treatment. “We are concerned that, without modification, President (Donald) Trump’s executive order on immigration could adversely impact patient care, education and research,” said Rick Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. (McIntire, 1/30)

USA Today/The Memphis Commercial Appeal: Trump Ban Puts Cancer Patient's Family In Limbo
A native of Iran, Arina Yaghoubi, has battled leukemia since she was 14. While her disease was in remission, she left home to enter James Madison University in Virginia, only to have the disease return. Yaghoubi, 21, has been successfully treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, with her mother by her side for the last nine months and is now cancer free. But with the ban President Trump has placed on immigrants from certain Middle Eastern countries, her mother is afraid to go home and her father can't enter the United States. (Moore, 1/31)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Area Hospitals Trying To Reassure Staff Following Trump's Immigration Order
In the wake of President Trump's executive order on immigration, area hospitals are scrambling to assist and reassure medical staff without citizenship and foreign patients scheduled for treatment. Some are also speaking out on moral grounds against the order.St. Vincent Charity Hospital said the order "sends a message of intolerance" in direct conflict with the hospital's faith-based Catholic mission. (Zeltner, 1/30)

7. Price Received Special Invite To Invest In Biomedical Company

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., testified before Congress that stock was offered to all investors at time, but President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services was one of fewer than 20 U.S. investors who were invited last year to buy discounted shares of the company. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on Price's nomination on Tuesday.

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