HOGAN URGES CHILDREN’s HEALTH PROGRAM FUNDING: Gov. Larry Hogan is breaking with Republicans in Congress on yet another health-care issue — the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which will run out of funds in March, jeopardizing the health coverage of 140,000 Maryland children, reports Ovetta Wiggins for the Post. A spokeswoman for Hogan (R) said the administration has been working with the National Governors Association to urge Congress to take bipartisan action to ensure funding for the program.
In the meantime, open enrollment begins today for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and officials are urging those in need of coverage to shop around. Two insurers are offering plans for 2018, but average premium prices are soaring by double digits for most plans to reflect costs as well as the Trump administration’s policy changes to the federal health law known as Obamacare, Meredith Cohn writes in the Sun.
LOW HOSPITAL SAFETY RANKING: Maryland hospitals rank near the bottom nationwide when it comes to avoiding medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections, according to a new assessment by the Leapfrog Group. Meredith Cohn of the Sun writes that the assessment generally drew a reserved response from area hospital administrators, who say safety is a top priority and they are always working to do better.
GENERIC DRUG PRICE GOUGING: If you have been the victim of price gouging for generic drugs, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) wants to hear from you. Ovetta Wiggins writes in the Post that Frosh is joining with Maryland Healthcare for All, a health-care advocacy group, to identify possible victims of price gouging, a move made possible by a new state law allowing the attorney general to sue drug companies that dramatically increase the price of off-patent or generic drugs.
“Generic drugs have been one of the few bargains in American health care for generations,” Tim Curtis of the Daily Record quotes Frosh as saying. “In recent years, the prices of generic drugs have started to skyrocket.”