The Biggest Beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act are State and Local Government

There is a lot of hype right now about the Affordable care Act (ACA) and the impact it will have on healthcare.  Less recognized is the impact ACA will have on state and local government’s OPEB liability.  OPEB or ‘other post-employment benefits’ is a massive liability, unlike pensions, one most states and localities have not prefunded.  Every day as healthcare costs rise and Americans continue to age, that OPEB gets bigger.

ACA could be seen to many states and local governments as a solution to their OPEB problem, at least the portion of OPEB attributable to pre-Medicare retirees.  The ACA exchanges will allow these localities to move their pre-65 retirees on to health plans on the ACA exchanges.  But moving these pre-65 retirees to the exchanges will simply transfer costs from the state or local government level to federal taxpayers.

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Europe Approves First Biosimilar Antibody Drug

The European Commission approved the first biosimilar, generic equivalent, of Remicade yesterday. Remicade is an infusion used for many inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Chron’s disease. Specialty medications are very complex medications and unlike other medications are very difficult to manufacture. The Wall Street Journal announcement is provided below with additional information and for your reference. We will have to wait and see how and when the FDA will address biosimilars here in the US as they work towards final language of the biosimilar legislation.

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