We’ve been seeing some mean moves lately. Someone appointed to a high government post by President Trump states a position that is then undermined by the Commander-in-Chief. The appointee has to backtrack—picture Michael Jackson doing his moonwalk.

About 67,000 people living in 30 counties in northwestern Missouri and another two in Kansas will not have an Obamacare plan available to them next year.

Excellent breakdown in the Wall Street Journal this morning about what we can describe (being only a tad hyperbolic) as the bombshell of a CBO report that landed last night. It says that the American Health Care Act, as passed by the House, would result in 23 million more Americans being uninsured.

All parties agree on this: A decision will need to be made soon. The Senate Health Care Working Group today met with Blue Cross Blue Shield officials to discuss what the Senate needs in its health care legislation to ensure that plans participate and offer affordable benefit packages, according to the Hill.

Sen. Lamar Alexander wants to save the ACA before killing it. That would be quite a trick, as Roll Call reports, but Alexander says that some aspects of the law should remain in place for 2018 and 2019.

The FDA yesterday ruled that Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) can be used for almost any solid tumors with one of two genetic abnormalities that have not responded to first-line treatment. It makes the drug the first to be given the status of first tissue/site-agnostic.

Jack McCain
Some are using the word “cure” for chimeric antigen receptor T cells. The modular nature of CAR T cells could provide novel strategies to combat resistance and convert more initial complete responses into lasting complete responses. Problems include: cytokine release syndrome, resistance, and finding ways to produce them more efficiently.

There’s a lot of talk in Washington, D.C., about doing something to curb escalating drug prices and as the bipartisan pressure mounts the chances of that talk becoming legislative action increases. Meanwhile, some state legislators aren’t waiting for federal guidance, STAT reports.

News & Commentary
It now takes an average of 24 days to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 of the largest cities in the U.S. That’s up from 18.5 days in 2014, 20.5 days in 2009, and 21 days in 2004, the previous years when the Merritt Hawkins survey was conducted.

President Trump plans to cut spending on Medicaid by more than $800 billion over the next 10 years, the Washington Post reports. The plan, considered the administration’s first major budget proposal, is expected to be released tomorrow.

Amazon, which seems to be taking over everything, has set it sights on becoming a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). CNBC reports that the online retailer—you know, the site where you can buy practically anything—is exploring how to become a PBM. This is interesting.

Cancer 2017
Thomas Reinke

Kevin Fitzpatrick
CEO, CancerLinQ

RWE is a relatively new kid on the block. How exactly it will fit into the complicated world of cancer drug testing, approval, regulation, and marketing is uncertain. The randomized clinical trial has been the gold standard in oncology research for decades and will remain so for the foreseeable future.