What We're Reading: Affordable Care Act Update; COVID-19 … – AJMC.com Managed Markets Network

Affordable Care Act health care sign-ups are breaking records; updated COVID-19 boosters are proving successful against new variants; GenBioPro, which manufactures mifepristone, has filed suit regarding the constitutionality of a state abortion drug ban.
Record Numbers Pursue Affordable Care Act Health Coverage
This year, a record-breaking 16.3 million people have signed up for insurance coverage during 2023 enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, almost a 50% increase since President Biden took office, said CMS on Wednesday. This total includes 3.6 million newly enrolled people (22%) and 12.7 million who again selected coverage for 2023 or were automatically re-enrolled in their 2022 plans (78%). These numbers follow the Biden-Harris administration’s priority initiative to grow health insurance access and lower health care costs for American families.

Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Effective Against Newest Variants, Says CDC
Brendan Jackson, MD, MPH, who heads the CDC’s COVID-19 response, said new data show that updated vaccines protect people against the most recent COVID-19 variants, reported Reuters. The boosters released in fall 2022 target the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, although right now XBB-related subvariants are dominant. The CDC says that the updated vaccine worked comparably against both BA.5- and XBB/XBB1.5–related infections. The booster showed 52% effectiveness against BA.5 and 48% against XBB/XBB1.5 for those aged 18 to 49 years, and 37% and 43% effectiveness, respectively, for those 65 years and older.

New Lawsuit Confronts West Virginia Abortion Pill Ban
The company GenBioPro, 1 of 2 American producers of mifepristone, the first pill in a 2-drug medication abortion regimen, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday morning contesting the constitutionality of a state ban on the drug, reported The New York Times. This was announced as one of many arguments claiming that FDA approval surpasses obstructive state laws. The case was filed in West Virginia, which has banned abortion except in cases of a medical emergency, an ectopic pregnancy, or a fetus is deemed nonmedically viable, and it was predicted that a ruling in favor could prompt other states that have banned abortion to come forward and disperse the drug. A rejection is predicted to give states banning the drug the opportunity to ban or restrict other medications.
Racial Disparities Among US Neighborhoods May Have Implications for Health Outcomes
Large geographical data may offer insight on race and ethnic health inequities across the United States.
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Examining Telehealth Uptake to Increase Equitable Care Access
To mark the publication of The American Journal of Managed Care®’s 12th annual health IT issue, on this episode of Managed Care Cast, we speak with Christopher M. Whaley, PhD, health care economist at the RAND Corporation, who focuses on health economics issues, including the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care delivery.
FDA Approves Pirtobrutinib for Relapsed or Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma
The FDA has approved pirtobrutinib (Jaypirca) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma following at least 2 lines of systemic therapy, including a previous Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor.
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High-Deductible Health Plans and Their Potential Impact on the US Drug Epidemic
On this episode of Managed Care Cast, we speak with Matthew D. Eisenberg, PhD, lead author of a study published in the October issue of The American Journal of Managed Care® that investigated the use of high-deductible health plans and their impact on substance use disorder care and spending.
Female Adolescents With T1D Have Lower Quality of Life Than Male Children
A systematic review evaluating sex differences in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) found that female children had higher rates of comorbidities, higher body mass index, required higher insulin doses, and had a lower quality of life compared with male children.
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Researchers Find 4 Biomarkers Linked to Copper Metabolism in PAH
The 4 biomarkers linked to copper metabolism in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) were DDIT3, NFKBIA, OSM, and PTGER4.
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