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Around the nation: American College of Physicians endorses single-payer system, public option

Daily Briefing

    Robert McLean, president of the American College of Physicians, noted that the group's statement is not an endorsement for any specific candidate's proposal, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

    • District of Columbia: Attorneys general in 14 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City on Thursday sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the administration's plan to impose stricter work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps. The attorneys general in the lawsuit claim the plan unlawfully limits states' ability to exempt certain adults from the work requirements for an extended duration given the state of local employment. The changes, which will take effect in April, will likely cause 688,000 adults to lose food stamps, according to Politico (Boudreau, Politico, 1/16).

    • Maryland: Shannon Sartin, former director of U.S. Digital Service at HHS, on Thursday announced that she's been tapped to be chief technology officer at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Sartin stepped down from her director role in October 2019 to search for a job that would "excite" her, but ultimately will return to CMS CTO. In her former roles at CMS and the U.S. Digital Service, Sartin worked on Medicare data projects as well as Data at the Point of Care, a pilot launched by CMS last year that allows providers to access claims data for Medicare patients (Kim Cohen, Modern Healthcare, 1/17; Sartin, Medium, 1/16).

    • Pennsylvania: The American College of Physicians (ACP), the second-largest physician group in the country, on Tuesday voiced its support for health reform proposals that would expand insurance coverage to all Americans, including a public option and a single payer system. ACP President Robert McLean said the group came to its opinion by looking at available evidence to see what would best address issues such as health care costs, uneven quality, coverage gaps, and complexity. However, he noted that the group's statement is not an endorsement for any specific candidate's proposal. According to McLean, one issue with Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) so-called "Medicare-for-all" single payer proposal is that it depends on Medicare rates, which are lower than what commercial insurers pay (Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 1/20; Sullivan, The Hill, 1/21).

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