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Congress passes spending bill that repeals ACA taxes, raises tobacco-buying age to 21

December 20, 2019


The Senate on Thursday voted to send President Trump two major spending packages to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020 that include several health care provisions, such as eliminating three Affordable Care Act taxes and raising the federal minimum tobacco-purchasing age to 21.

Democratic presidential candidates wrap up 2019 debates with clash over Medicare for All

December 20, 2019


Candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president during Thursday's primary debate again clashed over so-called "Medicare-for-All" proposals—closing out the final debate of this year with a topic that has dominated the Democratic presidential primary debates so far.

How Bloomberg, Yang want to reform the US health care system

December 20, 2019


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D) and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who are among the candidates competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, this week released their respective health reform plans.

VA ends hospital star-ratings program

December 20, 2019


Veterans Affairs (VA) this month discontinued its star-ratings system in an effort to better enable veterans seeking care to compare both VA and non-VA health care facilities.

Navajo Nation plans to create 'one-of-a-kind' Medicaid program in New Mexico

December 20, 2019


The Navajo Nation recently announced plans to contract with Molina Healthcare to create a managed-health care offering under New Mexico's Medicaid program—a move that would make the tribe one of the first to create a managed-health care entity.

How the Trump admin wants to enable states to import lower-cost drugs from Canada

December 19, 2019


HHS on Wednesday issued a notice of proposed rulemaking and draft guidance that together would allow states and drugmakers to import lower-cost versions of prescription drugs from other countries—though the proposals exclude certain high-cost and specialty drugs, such as biologics and insulin, that have been major concerns in discussions about U.S. drug pricing.

How HHS wants to overhaul organ donations—and promote more living donors

December 19, 2019


HHS on Tuesday released two proposed rules intended to hold underperforming organ procurement organizations accountable for performance and promote more organ donations from living donors.

Fewer teens are drinking, smoking, or using hard drugs. (But there's bad news, too.)

December 19, 2019


Fewer teenagers in 2019 reported drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and trying hard drugs, according to recent federal survey data—but the research also revealed some troubling trends.

How one simple letter from the IRS might have saved 700 lives

December 19, 2019


Notices that informed uninsured adults that they had paid the Affordable Care Act's penalty for being uninsured and offered them tips on how to enroll in health coverage might have reduced premature deaths, according to a working paper from three economists at the Department of the Treasury.

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