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Daily News

April 28, 2017

Middle-class consumers who earn too much to get ACA subsidies are being “crushed” by price increases and need legislative relief, says eHealth CEO Scott Flanders, who met with White House and other tech company officials Thursday where he discussed concerns with Healthcare.gov's technology platform.

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California Insurance Commissioner David Jones said Friday (April 28) that issuers can file two sets of rates, one assuming the administration will continue to undermine the ACA and other assuming the law will be enforced and funded, when they submit forms next week.

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A federal appeals court upheld the D.C. District Court's decision to block the merger between Anthem and Cigna -- a move praised by the American Medical Association and the New York Attorney General.

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The Senate Finance Committee intends to hold a hearing on reauthorizing funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program on May 9, a congressional aide told Inside Health Policy.

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The Association For Accessible Medicines is urging heads of two key congressional committees to include Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategies (REMS) reform in the FDA user fee reauthorization package, as well as provisions to ensure companies do not use self-imposed restricted distribution systems to block generics from coming to market.

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House Republicans say they are close to gathering enough support to pass the American Health Care Act and a vote is possible next week.

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Congressional GOP leadership didn’t consider the Medicaid proposals by Republican governors of four states that expanded Medicaid, even though Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), a leader of the moderate-Republican Tuesday Group, told leadership his support for the American Health Care Act depends on changes to the bill’s Medicaid provisions.

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The rift between Anthem and Express Scripts makes a strong case for the government forcing pharmacy benefit managers to disclose rebates and price concessions they negotiate with drug makers, according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who wrote a PBM transparency bill, and Avalere Health Vice President Rujul Desai said the fallout increases the likelihood of transparency legislation gaining traction.

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President Donald Trump named Charmaine Yoest to be the assistant secretary of HHS for public affairs Friday (April 28), and while some Republicans applauded the appointment, Democrats slammed the move and NARAL Pro-Choice America said the choice helps fulfill Trump's promise to “erode the constitutional right to abortion.”

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Congress passed a continuing resolution Friday (April 28) to fund the government another week, and the two parties continue to debate how to tackle the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reductions as part of an omnibus spending bill to fund the government the rest of the fiscal year.

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April 27, 2017

Molina Healthcare CEO J. Mario Molina warned congressional leaders Thursday (April 27) that the issuer would have no choice but to immediately send a default notice to the government and seek to withdraw from the exchange markets if the government fails to continue the ACA's cost-sharing reduction payments.

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Although some Republican moderates are unhappy with the Medicaid policies in the stalled American Health Care Act, Republican leaders don’t want to tweak the per-capita caps or Medicaid expansion phase-out provisions so as not to lose votes on the right.

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After a Thursday (April 27) meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), HHS Secretary Tom Price signaled he may change the Obama administration policy of letting states decide whether plans on their exchanges must cover abortion services.

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CMS on Thursday (April 27) proposed fiscal 2018 pay increases for inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and hospices, and the agency released a pre-rule on nursing homes to get input from industry on changes it is considering to that pay system.

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Republicans are optimistic that a vote on the American Health Care Act could occur as early as Friday or Saturday, but a handful of conservatives and a chunk of moderates could cause the measure to fail.

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The Trump administration plans to delay implementation of the nationwide menu labeling rule that was set to go into effect May 5, drawing harsh criticism from the top Democrats.

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House and Senate lawmakers are discussing ways to attach to FDA user fee legislation a newly reintroduced bill that would prevent brand drug makers from using Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies to delay generics, a Democratic lobbyist tells Inside Health Policy.

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Senate Democrats are questioning FDA Commissioner-nominee Scott Gottlieb about his ties to fentanyl manufacturer Cephalon, both before and after he worked at FDA as deputy commissioner.

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House and Senate Democratic leaders Thursday (April 27) said they will block the GOP's newly drafted one-week continuing resolution if Republicans attempt to jam their health care bill through the House this week.

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House and Senate Democratic leaders Thursday (April 27) said they will block the GOP's newly drafted one-week continuing resolution if Republicans attempt to jam their health care bill through the House this week.

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