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Senate, House begin negotiations on tax reform bill—and the individual mandate is on the table

December 8, 2017

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who is leading the negotiations, says he is open to including a provision to eliminate the penalty most U.S. residents have to pay for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate in Republicans' final tax reform bill.

US health spending slows, but consumers' out-of-pocket spending soars, CMS data show

December 7, 2017

In an annual report, CMS actuaries find U.S. health spending increased by 4.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2016, down from growth rates of 5.8% in 2015 and 5.1% in 2014—but consumers' out-of-pocket spending rose at its fastest rate since 2007.

Municipalities increasingly giving employees access to lower-cost, overseas Rx drugs

December 7, 2017

Despite FDA's opposition, dozens of municipalities are offering a unique drug benefit that allows employees to purchase medication from Canada and other foreign countries, where drug prices are up to 80% lower than in the United States

CMS extends enforcement delay for some long-term care requirements

December 6, 2017

CMS in a recent notice says it is imposing an 18-month moratorium on enforcement activities for several portions of a final rule for long-term care facilities so the agency can "address concerns regarding the scope and timing of the revised requirements."

Moody's revises 2018 outlook for nonprofit, public hospitals to 'negative'

December 6, 2017

Moody's Investors Services projects that nonprofit and public hospitals will see their operating cash flows decline by between 2% and 4% over the next 12 to 18 months.

FDA approves first test to detect cancer-causing mutations in hundreds of genes

December 5, 2017

FDA says the test, known as FoundationOne CDx, could help reduce health care costs and bolster patient care, and CMS says it plans to cover the test for qualifying Medicare beneficiaries.

AHL feature: How the House and Senate tax bills would affect health care

December 4, 2017

American Health Line has put together a side-by-side comparison of how the House- and Senate-passed tax reform bills could affect health insurance, Medicare, patients' medical expenses, and even alcohol-related deaths.

Senate votes to eliminate ACA's individual mandate penalty

December 4, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that eliminating the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate would cause exchange market premiums to rise by 10% and lead to 13 million fewer people having health insurance in 2027.

CVS + Aetna: How the $69B merger could shake up the health care industry

December 4, 2017

Observers say the proposed deal aims to combine Aetna's medical expertise with CVS Health's pharmacy locations to create sites for convenient, local care—and stem rising health care costs.

Senate could vote today to eliminate ACA's individual mandate penalty

December 1, 2017

The Senate as early as today could hold a final vote on a tax reform bill that would effectively eliminate the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and could trigger $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare next year.

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