The Trump administration officially issued a new rule Friday that weakens the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring employers to provide free birth control as part of health insurance plans. The final rule resembles a draft that was leaked back in May. It vastly expands the types of employers that can opt out of birth control coverage and eliminates some of the hoops those employers have had to jump through to do so. "With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control," Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in an emailed statement. "The Trump administration just took direct aim at birth control coverage for 62 million women."
The healthcare headlines this year have been dominated by the imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, against the backdrop of a long-term transition to value-based care (VBC), a handful of emerging technology initiatives are quietly making news in advancing precision medicine in healthcare. The promise of precision medicine requires complete access to all available data about an individual. Over the past few years, digitization of health records through the implementation of EHR systems has covered the vast majority of hospitals and physician practices. Efforts to unlock value from unstructured data are already under way using natural language processing (NLP) technologies.
Radiologists bring home $395,000 each year, on average. In the near future, however, those numbers promise to drop to $0. Don't blame Obamacare, however, or even Trumpcare (whatever that turns out to be), but rather blame the rise of machine learning and its applicability to these two areas of medicine that are heavily focused on pattern matching, a job better done by a machine than a human. This is the argument put forward by Dr. Ziad Obermeyer of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital and Ezekiel Emanuel, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, in an article for the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the medical profession's most prestigious journals. Machine learning will produce big winners and losers in healthcare, according to the authors, with radiologists and pathologists among the biggest losers.
President Trump suggested tonight that it's not fair to compare the Republican health care plan to the Affordable Care Act, because the law is "dying, dying, dying" and won't be around anyway. "They always like to compare -- well, what about [Obamacare]? Obamacare's dead," Trump said at a rally in Harrisburg, PA. "It's gone ... The insurance companies are fleeing." Between the lines: His comments suggested that he might try to use the law's problems -- including the steep premium hikes last year -- to dismiss the comparisons people are making to the GOP replacement plan, which aren't flattering. The biggest criticisms: it would cover 24 million fewer people than the ACA, and under some of the latest changes, it might not give the same protections to people with pre-existing conditions.