Friday Five: Supreme Court nominee could change health care landscape

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July 13, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about how the Supreme Court nominee could impact health care laws, Medicaid drug spending, employment programs and the global artificial intelligence race.

1. Kavanaugh pick could affect future of Obamacare, Medicaid work requirements

Health care issues are expected to be a major focus of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. According to Modern Healthcare, multiple health care cases could be decided by the Court in the coming years, including those dealing with the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid access and more.

2. Better data could help Medicaid programs cut drug spending 

The price that Medicaid pays for prescription drugs includes both mandatory federal rebates and additional rebates negotiated by states. This Pew Charitable Trusts blog argues that requiring manufacturers to report the rebates they provide to non-retail establishments and pharmacy benefit managers would enable Medicaid to negotiate better deals and save money on drug costs.

3. Housing authority’s ‘welfare-to-work’ program renewed for 22nd year

A south-central Kentucky housing authority has been offering its successful ‘welfare-to-work’ program for more than 20 years. The Bowling Green Daily News reports that the program, which helps more than 55 families a year, places individuals into temporary jobs while also assisting with transportation, childcare and job search skills. More than 80% of participants find employment after completing the program.

4. Food stamp work requirements would force states to provide job training. Many aren’t ready

The House version of the farm bill includes additional work requirements or enrollment in job training programs for SNAP recipients. According to this Pew Charitable Trusts article, most states would not be able to meet the increased demand for training programs and could lose federal funding. Current job training programs vary widely in quality and number of residents served.

5. White House official: Bet on U.S. to win the AI war

China is investing heavily in research and development focused on artificial intelligence. But, according to NextGov, government officials believe the combined efforts of federal funding, private companies, and academia will give the U.S. the innovative edge. Experts argue that policy and funding decisions must support the industry for that to happen.