The Latin expression which is the title of this week’s blog is part of the Hippocratic oath for physicians which translates roughly to “first, do no harm”. Evidently, Republican leaders in the Senate felt no compulsion to be bound by these niceties.
A draft bill released this week by Senate Republicans, termed “mean” by President Trump, lives up to its characterization. The bill, if passed into law, will harm the 75 million or so poor, elderly and the sick who are currently covered by Medicaid. Some 13 million, who enrolled as part of the Medicaid expansion programs under Obamacare, may lose coverage as the Medicaid expansion is gradually rolled back, starting 2021.

However, the bill has some goodies: individual mandate has been scrapped, and insurance subsidies will continue (although eligibility rules have changed). Oh, and the bill rolls back some taxes that Obama had imposed on the wealthy and the insurers to pay for subsidies, which begs the conclusion by our recent ex-POTUS: this is a massive transfer of wealth to rich Americans, to be paid for by healthcare costs cuts for the poor and vulnerable.

We have assembled a collection of articles and opinion pieces on the proposed bill for your reading pleasure this weekend. If you want to know what the new bill changes about Obamacare, this piece is a great ready reckoner.

What else? The FDA is getting increasingly concerned about medical device security and device hacks. My latest blog in CIO online talks about best practices in device security by one of the leading global device manufacturers.

We leave you with a question to ponder as we await the bill to be put to vote: how did healthcare become such a big business in the U.S economy? Elizabeth Rosenthal, editor of Kaiser Health News and the author of An American Sickness, talks about how the healthcare industry profits from perverse incentives and motives.

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