Lev Facher Profile picture
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Trump is spending nearly $7 billion in taxpayer money on a blatant ploy to buy off seniors, 40 days before the election, with $200 Rx drug coupons.

WH says the money comes from savings from a regulation that is not yet in force. w/@NicholasFlorko

statnews.com/2020/09/24/sen… The Health and Human Services department just held a call during which, shockingly, they said the White House's plan to pay for Trump's $200 prescription drug coupons is still being worked out. No justification for using $6.6 billion in taxpayer money as a pre-election giveaway
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Trump: "Under my plan, 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card in the mail containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs. ... Joe Biden won't be doing this." This is stunning because a) the administration has given no indication it's actually happening and b) the president is handing out nearly $7 billion in taxpayer money six weeks before an election and admitting it's for the politics
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Unless I'm missing something, the Trump admin just rolled out its long-awaited health care plan, which entails:

-A plan to work with Congress on banning surprise billing
-A declaration that insurers can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions

That was it! Seema Verma said they would lead to "the most consequential health care reform in American history."

The surprise billing bit is a non-binding directive. The conditions for people w/pre-existing conditions are standing law, which the Trump DOJ is currently trying to strike down
Aug 27, 2020 10 tweets 4 min read
NEW: Our story today goes inside the Trump administration's unprecedented war on the Food and Drug Administration — the agency Americans are depending on to test, evaluate, and approve potential Covid-19 treatments and vaccines. Will thread highlights:

statnews.com/2020/08/27/tru… Last week, the administration installed Emily Miller, a former OANN reporter and gun-rights advocate, as the FDA's top spokeswoman. She doesn't have experience in science or medicine. Here's her book: Image
Aug 20, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
New: I spoke with Joe Biden's key Covid-19 advisers to get a better sense for what happens on the potential first day of his presidency — and how his team of former government health care officials is already preparing for a messy transition

statnews.com/2020/08/20/ram… A few interesting bits from this piece: Biden's main Covid-19 advisers are former FDA commissioner David Kessler and former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, and he calls them "the docs" — i.e., "let's run it by the docs"

Mar 20, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
During his press conference today, President Trump says he's put the Defense Production Act "into gear" but again doesn't say whether/how the White House is actually moving to manufacture medical supplies like ventilators, masks, and other protective gear Trump: "Usually, you work out a financial package to get people working. We're asking people not to work. Social distancing. The new term that's become probably the hottest term there is."
Mar 16, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
During Democratic primary debate, Joe Biden refers to 2009 flu pandemic as "N1H1" (it is H1N1), and uses the phrase "what happened in Africa" presumably to refer to Ebola Biden also slams the Trump administration for declining to use the WHO coronavirus test. Bernie Sanders says the pharmaceutical industry is excitedly using coronavirus as a business opportunity.
Mar 13, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
Unpacking President Trump's reportedly forthcoming national emergency declaration over the Covid-19 pandemic statnews.com/2020/03/13/nat… Trump national emergency declaration:

-Will "open up access"to $50 billion in resources, he says
-Sec. Azar can waive regulations, give doctors, hospitals flexibility
-Tells states to set up emergency operations centers
-Tells hospitals to activate emergency preparedness plans
Feb 26, 2019 6 tweets 3 min read
Big day for drug pricing! Get ready for today's hearing with STAT's many previews: statnews.com/2019/02/26/wha… How pharmaceutical executives are training to avoid public humiliation at today's congressional grilling: statnews.com/2019/02/25/pha…
Feb 6, 2019 9 tweets 3 min read
President Trump on drug pricing in tonight's speech, as prepared: "It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it." OK, now the health care stuff: "The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs -- and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions."
Jan 9, 2019 4 tweets 2 min read
First full week of Congress and basically everybody has a new drug pricing bill or three: statnews.com/2019/01/09/as-… More support for the Trump administration Medicare proposal that Sen. Grassley doesn't like today, from @P4AD_: statnews.com/2019/01/10/dru…
Nov 9, 2017 5 tweets 2 min read
After declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency, the White House left the question of funding to Congress. There's no big plan in the works on Capitol Hill: statnews.com/2017/11/09/opi… w/@eemershon @eemershon Tom MacArthur says Congress unlikely to move on “opioids week” or replenishing an HHS emergency fund this year: statnews.com/2017/11/09/opi…
Nov 1, 2017 5 tweets 3 min read
On @hereandnow momentarily talking about the Trump opioid crisis commission's final report: wbur.org/hereandnow/201… @hereandnow Re-upping Monday's story about the report's 53 recommendations: statnews.com/2017/10/30/opi…
Oct 18, 2017 4 tweets 2 min read
Some *names* for potential Trump drug czar picks: Frank Guinta, Bertha Madras ... Chris Christie? statnews.com/2017/10/18/dru… .@dylanlscott wrote a great story last year about the evolution of Frank Guinta's views on drug treatment: statnews.com/2016/07/13/fra…
Sep 22, 2017 4 tweets 2 min read
As I have long said, the only way to meet real Americans is at the Ritz Another good way to meet real Americans is to take a private jet to a resort island and to have lunch with your son politico.com/story/2017/09/… Image
Jul 31, 2017 4 tweets 1 min read
Breaking: The White House opioid crisis commission is recommending President Trump declare a national emergency statnews.com/2017/07/31/opi… From the commission, chaired by Chris Christie: Image
Jun 26, 2017 4 tweets 1 min read
No meaningful improvement from House bill in projections of uninsured # in CBO score of BCRA: cbo.gov/system/files/1… An additional 21-22 million uninsured as compared to current law by 2026: Image
Jun 8, 2017 9 tweets 2 min read
Good morning from Washington, where I'll be covering the hearing to end all hearings: Tom Price in front of the Senate Finance Committee! McCaskill trying to get Hatch to pledge there'll be a Finance hearing on new Senate health bill. He says Ds have been invited to participate
Mar 13, 2017 5 tweets 2 min read
🙌🙌🙌 cbo.gov/sites/default/… Per CBO, there'd be ~14m additional uninsured people in 2018 largely b/c of indiv. mandate repeal, then with Medicaid changes ~24m by 2026