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Congress just unveiled an FY 2020 funding deal to avoid a government shutdown

December 17, 2019


Congressional negotiators on Monday released a nearly $1.4 trillion spending agreement that would fund the federal government, including health agencies, through the end of fiscal year 2020 and includes several health care provisions—such as measures to permanently repeal three Affordable Care Act taxes, delay cuts to Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital payments, raise the minimum tobacco purchasing age, and more.

House approves Pelosi's Rx pricing bill, rejects GOP alternative

December 13, 2019


The House on Thursday voted 230-291 to pass House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) bill intended to lower prescription drug prices in the United States, and voted 201-223 to reject a bill introduced by House Republicans that was intended to serve as an alternative to Pelosi's measure.

CBO: Pelosi's Rx drug pricing bill would save feds a net $5B—and slow down drug development

December 12, 2019


A provision in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) drug pricing bill that would allow the HHS secretary to negotiate prescription drug prices would save the federal government about $456 billion from 2020-2029, but the bill would raise federal spending in other areas, according a Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday.

US health spending growth accelerated last year. Here's why.

December 6, 2019


U.S. health spending growth increased at a faster rate in 2018 when compared with 2017, in part because the net cost of health insurance rose more quickly due to the return of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance tax, according to a CMS report released Thursday.

How much would a 'public option' disrupt health care? More than you might think.

December 6, 2019


In the Democratic presidential debates, public option health plans are being positioned as more "moderate" and less "disruptive" alternatives to single-payer proposals, such as Medicare for All—but what is lost in that framing is just how much public option plans would disrupt the current system, Margot Sanger-Katz writes for the New York Times' "The Upshot."

Federal exchange signups reach 2.9M, CMS data shows

December 5, 2019


CMS on Wednesday announced that about 2.9 million people have signed up for federal exchange plans so far during the Affordable Care Act's current open enrollment period, which is down by about 10% when compared with the first five weeks of last year's open enrollment period.

Federal exchange signups still lag behind last year, but are picking up pace

December 2, 2019


CMS on Wednesday announced about 2.37 million people have signed up for federal exchange plans so far during the Affordable Care Act's current open enrollment period, which is down by about 2% when compared with the first four weeks of last year's open enrollment period.

Bad debt is rising again at nonprofit hospitals, Moody's finds

December 2, 2019


The amount of bad debt nonprofit hospitals experience increased in 2018 for the first time since 2014, in part because of changes to insurance benefit designs that are placing greater financial responsibility on patients, according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service.

Judge blocks policy denying visas to immigrants without health coverage

December 2, 2019


A federal judge on Tuesday issued a ruling blocking a Trump administration policy under which the federal government would deny immigrants visas if they cannot prove they can afford to cover their medical expenses or that they will be enrolled in health coverage.

Where employees are paying the most for health coverage, mapped

November 25, 2019


U.S. residents with employer-sponsored health plans are contributing an increasingly large portion of their incomes to deductibles and premiums, with those contributions rising at faster rates than the median income in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund.

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