Creating a single-payer health–care system in the U.S. would be a “major undertaking that would involve substantial changes” to medical coverage, according to a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan agency that evaluates the potential budgetary, economic and other effects of legislative proposals didn’t assess any specific bill or estimate costs. “The transition toward a single-payer system could be complicated, challenging and potentially disruptive,” the CBO said on Wednesday.
The Trump administration moved swiftly this week to implement pieces of its plan to bring down drug prices. The Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday submitted a proposal to the White House that would curb kickback exemptions that allow drugmakers to offer insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers rebates widely blamed for keeping drug prices high. On the same day, the Food and Drug Administration released a plan to boost the market for biosimilars, or generic copies of expensive drugs that contain living organisms. On Thursday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said the agency would consider allowing importation of drugs from other countries under certain conditions, including when a generic-drug company that is the sole provider of a medication significantly raises the price of that drug.
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