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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.

CMS OKs Medicaid work requirements in another nonexpansion state

December 13, 2019


CMS on Thursday approved two separate Medicaid waiver requests from South Carolina, a state where officials have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid beneficiaries and change eligibility limits for adults with minor children.

With just 3 days left in open enrollment, CMS data shows federal exchange signups are lagging

December 12, 2019


CMS on Wednesday released federal exchange plan signup figures for the sixth week of the Affordable Care Act's current open enrollment period, as well as data on the number of U.S. residents who were enrolled in federal and state exchange plans during the first six months of 2019.

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.

FDA can regulate e-cigarettes, appeals court panel rules

December 12, 2019


An appeals court panel on Tuesday ruled that FDA is able to regulate e-cigarettes just like it does traditional cigarettes, saying the products are "indisputably highly addictive and pose health risks, especially to youth, that are not well understood."

SCOTUS hears arguments in ACA risk corridors case

December 12, 2019


The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that centers on whether the federal government owes health insurers $12 billion in risk corridors payments under the Affordable Care Act, and observers say a majority of the justices appeared likely to rule in the insurers' favor.

The House has another new proposal to address 'surprise' medical bills

December 12, 2019


The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday announced new legislation, which is still being finalized, to address so-called "surprise" medical bills—just days after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced their own bipartisan plan to address surprise bills, likely setting up Congress to resolve the issue in 2020.

Lawmakers could be headed for a showdown on Rx drug prices

December 10, 2019


Leaders on the Senate Finance Committee on Friday unveiled a new, bipartisan bill intended to lower prescription drug prices, and House Republicans on Monday announced a similar bill—both of which clash with a separate proposal introduced earlier this year by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

With opposition from industry, the future of surprise billing legislation remains uncertain

December 10, 2019


The White House on Monday expressed support for a new, bipartisan agreement to address so-called "surprise" medical bills, but the proposal's future is uncertain, as it faces opposition from the provider industry and has yet to receive an endorsement from congressional leadership.

A 'deep rift' between Azar, Verma is affecting Trump health policy, sources claim

December 10, 2019


In an exclusive published late last month, Politico reports that a "deep" rift in recent months has emerged between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS administrator Seema Verma that sources say has delayed some of the Trump administration's health care initiatives, including an Affordable Care Act replacement plan.

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