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Daily News

June 05, 2019

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday (June 5) that he wants drug makers to take on a share of costs in the catastrophic phase of Medicare Part D, and health insurance plans to also pay more.

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June 04, 2019

House Republicans on Tuesday (June 4) warned against repealing the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts that are scheduled to take effect in September, instead calling for another delay of the cuts or a restructuring of the formula that is used to calculate Medicaid DSH payments.

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday (June 4) filed a motion to immediately block the Trump administration’s rule that allows medical professions the right to refuse care due to religious or moral objections.

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House Ways & Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) on Tuesday (June 4) said Congress should be anxious about the fate of rural hospitals, after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle raised concerns with rural hospitals and their closures.

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The House Appropriations Committee approved a 2020 funding bill on Tuesday (June 4) that would give FDA a $184 million boost over 2019 levels. During the markup, lawmakers voted to restore language featured in previous bills that would prevent the genetic modification of human embryos.

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The Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the Senate’s options to curb surprise medical bills found the health committee’s proposal to set a benchmark payment rate would save the most money at $25 billion in health savings to the federal government over 10 years, sources familiar with the preliminary scores told Inside Health Policy.

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White House officials are set to meet with congressional Republicans later this week to talk about prescription drug pricing, Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) said Tuesday (June 4).

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) plans to introduce next week a package of five drug pricing bills that includes measures to help insurers finance expensive drugs, reward insurers that encourage biosimilar adoption, discourage price concessions that pharmacies call unfair, pay pharmacists for managing complicated regimens and stop authorized generics from lowering Medicaid drug rebates.

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The House on Tuesday (June 4) passed by voice vote the Senate’s pandemic preparedness bill, which does not include a measure to reform FDA’s over-the-counter (OTC) drug regulatory framework that was part of the House’s original pandemic bill.

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Health insurance broker eHealth says it submitted around 25,000 more applications for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans during the new Medicare open enrollment period at the beginning of 2019 that replaced the MA disenrollment period than it did during the same time period last year, and one eHealth official said he expects awareness of the chance to switch MA plans during that three-month period will increase next year.

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The United States and the United Kingdom will reach a “phenomenal trade deal” covering “everything” -- including the British National Health Service, President Trump said in London on Tuesday (June 4).

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An FDA regulatory proposal to establish requirements for premarket tobacco product applications is being reviewed by the White House budget office, according to the office’s online regulatory review dashboard.

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A Georgetown University Center for Children and Families study released on Thursday (May 30) says federal and state policies, not a strong economy, contributed to a 2.2% drop in children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2018 compared to the year before.

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Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and two other members of the committee are raising concerns that FDA’s proposed sunscreen rule, which would require sunscreen makers submit data for 12 ingredients, would lead American consumers to question the safety of sunscreens.

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June 03, 2019

The Trump administration on Friday (May 31) filed its opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia challenging a lower court decision to vacate key provisions of the Department of Labor’s final rule on association health plans (AHPs).

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The Supreme Court on Monday (June 3) struck down a CMS payment policy from fiscal 2012 that cut Medicare reimbursements to hospitals serving large numbers of low-income patients. The court ruled 7-to-1 that the CMS policy was invalid because the agency put it in place without conducting notice-and-comment rulemaking.

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This week the Congressional Budget Office will score several House and Senate proposals to curb surprise medical bills, according to a Republican staffer.

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As a House Energy & Commerce geared up for a Tuesday (June 4) hearing on legislation to repeal the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts that are set to kick in Oct. 1, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) office said repealing the cuts would be a giveaway to hospitals and is not grounded in reality.

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Providers and plans asked CMS for funding to tackle social determinants of health, clearer guidance for rural areas, and marketing guidance within a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) primary care demo.

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If a fiscal 2020 agriculture funding bill passes the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday (June 4), FDA will be one step closer to receiving millions of dollars to support new oversight efforts in its cosmetics, supplements and food import spaces.

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