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Healthcare Front and Center on Election Night
Voters in several states made their way to the ballot box this week to vote on a range of offices and issues. Healthcare was front and center. A few highlights below:
Maine Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion
Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion, making Maine the 32nd state to implement this component of Obamacare. This marks the first time that Medicaid expansion was put to a referendum and estimated 80,000 Maine residents will now qualify for Medicaid. Axios reports that Idaho, Kansas and Utah could be the next locations to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot.
Top Issue for Virginia Voters? Healthcare
Axios also reports that exit polls in Virginia’s gubernatorial race showed that healthcare was the number one issue for voters. Of those voters concerned with healthcare, 78 percent elected the winner of the race, Democrat Ralph Northam.
>>Read more: “Medicaid’s big night”
Ohio Voters Reject Issue 2
WCPO Cincinnati reports that Ohio voters have rejected Issue 2, that would have lowered drug prices paid by the states for prisoners, injured workers and low-income families. Those opposed to Issue 2 claim that it would have reduced the general public’s access to medicine, while supporters believe it could have forced pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices across the board.
>>Read more: “Ohio voters reject Issue 2, drug price measure”
Knock, Knock: It’s Your Prescription
CVS Health will offer delivery of prescription drugs in some big U.S. cities as soon as next year. Customers will have the option between same-day and next day delivery, depending on their location. This new convenient service suggests the corporation’s apprehension due to competition from Amazon, the New York Times reports. “Amazon’s possible expansion into prescription drugs has set the pharmacy industry on edge in recent months, igniting fears that the online behemoth [Amazon] will upend the existing business in much the same way that it has disrupted other consumer markets, from books to household supplies to groceries.” Additional updates may come in the form of Aetna’s acquisition of CVS Health in the coming months.
Happy Veteran’s Day: Cheers to Our Fearless Men and Women
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017 on Tuesday, which will allow Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) providers to cross state lines to practice telemedicine, Healthcare IT news reports. The bill mandates that the VA submit a report within a year on the effectiveness of the agency’s telemedicine program. The legislation is a cornerstone of the VA’s “Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care” program announced in August by VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, and President Trump.