Making sense of the debate's health care debate

In this article, D.C. Diagnosis discusses the aftermath of the first 2024 presidential debate, the Supreme Court’s Chevron storm impact on the FDA, and an analysis of the kidney care demonstration.

The post-debate analysis shows that both President Biden and former President Trump had issues with their health care policy statements during the debate. While Biden was criticized for his explanation of his campaign talking points on protecting abortion rights and lowering prescription drug costs, Trump’s claims about Medicare, Roe’s upheaval, and health care costs were found to be false by more than 60% of voters. Despite these issues, both candidates’ campaigns continue to push their messages, with Biden’s team emphasizing Trump’s false claims and Trump’s campaign capitalizing on the president’s debate performance.

The Chevron storm refers to a Supreme Court decision that weakened federal agencies’ ability to interpret ambiguous laws, potentially affecting the FDA’s regulatory decisions and leading to increased uncertainty for drug and device companies. The tobacco and vape industry has celebrated this decision, while other industries may face headaches as a result.

Finally, the article discusses a study finding that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) kidney care demonstration, which aimed to improve care for people with end-stage kidney disease, has not been effective so far. The model, which is mandatory and the largest such experiment in American health care, has not led to an increase in home dialysis or transplant among providers enrolled in the experiment compared to the control group.

In other news, House committees are investigating the issue of people who are erroneously enrolled in fully-subsidized ACA marketplace plans, with a conservative think tank estimating that as many as five million people are enrolled in these plans. Republican committee chairs have sent letters to HHS watchdogs requesting a report on this issue by December 15, 2022.

Lastly, the article includes recommended reading on various health care-related topics, including the role of psychiatrists in fulfilling their social contract, the downplaying of abortion by Republican candidates, the financial struggles of Ascension Health, and the surge of dengue fever worldwide due to a hotter planet.

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