Romney takes a specific stance on stem-cell research and therapy, citing that, although he believes stem-cell therapy can benefit patients (his wife, for example, who has multiple sclerosis), only preexisting embryos that are left over from in vitro fertilizations should be used to develop stem-cell treatments. Romney believes that no new embryos should be fertilized for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells for treating patients.
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Explore This IssueAugust 2012
At this point, Romney’s views on health information technology are vague. A report by the American College of Physicians (ACP) published on May 3, 2012, that examined the presidential candidates’ views, states that, “Romney supports efforts to facilitate information technology interoperability.” This statement is at odds with Romney’s promise to repeal ACA in its entirety because the law contains specific provisions for increasing use of health information systems and implementation incentives for practices. While most political experts agree that a full “repeal and replace” of the ACA is unlikely, it remains to be seen which pieces of the ACA Romney might reinstall after the repeal he has promised if he is elected president and if he has a Republican-controlled Congress to support him.
Tier IV Co-pays
On March 19, the bipartisan Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012 was introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), along with other cosponsors. The Act would increase the ability of patients to access medically necessary specialty drugs, like biologics used to treat RA. It would do this by limiting commercial insurance plans’ cost-sharing requirements for specialty drugs (usually placed in Tier IV) to the dollar amount of cost sharing the plans require for preferred-brand drugs (typically placed in Tier III). The ACR is working with the Arthritis Foundation on companion legislation in the Senate and garnering cosponsors for the House version. They are also bringing other physician and patient organizations into a broad coalition in support of these initiatives. There have been no formal comments from either candidate about the introduction of this Act.
Michael O’Neal is a writer based in New Jersey.