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House panel advances bill to reform Veterans Choice Program

May 10, 2018

A White House aide says the Trump administration wants the House to vote on the bill to reform the Veterans Choice Program next week, as acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie has warned that the program likely will run out of funding in the beginning of June.

Trump wants to take back $15.4B in unused federal funds, including $7B from CHIP

May 9, 2018

President Trump's rescission proposal would not affect program's current federal funding, but would eliminate funds that were allocated in previous fiscal years and were not used, including $2 billion from a contingency fund that states can use if they enroll more CHIP beneficiaries than they had expected.

CDC Director Robert Redfield had a $375K annual salary—but he's asked for a pay cut

May 1, 2018

An HHS spokesperson says CDC Director Robert Redfield's annual salary will be reduced from the $375,000 he was receiving—at Redfield's request—after Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and others raised concerns about Redfield's comparatively high pay.

CBO projects trillion-dollar deficits, rising spending on Medicare and Medicaid

April 11, 2018

The Congressional Budget Office report states that "health care costs per beneficiary are projected to grow faster than the economy over the long term, contributing to growth in spending for Medicare and Medicaid in particular."

States, cities, and mayors are fighting a census change that could affect Medicaid

April 5, 2018

A group of states and cities are suing the federal government over the Department of Commerce's decision to add a citizenship question to the census, arguing that the question could exacerbate undercounting of certain populations and jeopardize Medicaid and other population-based federal funding.

CMS' 2018 open enrollment sign-up tally is out. Here are the details.

April 4, 2018

CMS data show exchange plan sign-ups during the 2018 open enrollment period were down slightly from 2017, despite a far shorter open enrollment period and fewer federal dollars spent on outreach.

What's changing in Medicare Advantage and Part D next year: A 3.4% MA bump, 'hard' opioid limits, and more

April 3, 2018

CMS in 2019 will increase Medicare Advantage plan payments by 3.4% and set new pharmacy limits for Medicare Part D beneficiaries deemed at risk of opioid misuse.

What a newly announced change to the US census could mean for Medicaid

March 29, 2018

Some observers say the Department of Commerce's decision to again include a citizenship question on the U.S. Census might discourage undocumented immigrants from participating, and, as a result, states could end up receiving less federal funding, including federal Medicaid funds.

What’s more worrisome to US residents than immigration, drug use, or guns? Health care, poll finds

March 28, 2018

A Gallup survey finds 55% of respondents worry "a great deal" about the availability and affordability of health care, and researchers predict that, given Republicans' recent changes to the Affordable Care Act, "Americans' anxiety about the health care situation should persist."

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