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Congress

October 23, 2020 | Daily News

House lawmakers from both parties continue their push to make some telehealth waivers permanent after the COVID-19 public health emergency, although a co-chair of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus warns a bill likely won’t hit the floor until after the election.

October 21, 2020 | Daily News

House Ways & Means oversight subcommittee lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday (Oct. 20) pledged support for protecting people with preexisting conditions, while also illustrating a wide gulf in what they believe such protections mean.

October 19, 2020 | Daily News

Differences between House Democrats and the White House on a national pandemic testing plan emerged over the weekend as a key sticking point as the parties set a Tuesday night (Oct. 20) deadline to either reach a deal on a COVID-19 relief package or resume talks after the elections.

October 19, 2020 | Daily News

In three separate efforts, two consumer groups filed suits to try to force the government to hand over coronavirus-related contracts with drug makers and another group of government-oversight nonprofits filed Freedom of Information Act requests demanding access to contracts funneled through the private government contract management firm Advanced Technology International.

October 19, 2020 | Daily News

A lobbying group called Infusion Providers Alliance has formed to oppose international reference pricing for drugs, specialty pharmacy mandates and a measure in the Senate Finance Committee’s drug pricing bill that would lower reimbursement at physician practices that generate a significant part of their revenue from administering drugs.

October 19, 2020 | Daily News

A loose coalition of 33 patient organizations has developed a 100-day plan, tailor-made for a Democratic White House and Congress, that seeks to reverse Trump administration policies viewed as undermining the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, and to institute patient-centered coverage expansions.

October 14, 2020 | Daily News

Private-equity owned companies account for the majority of Medicare spending on air ambulance services and charge an average of more than seven times the Medicare reimbursement rate, which leads to expensive surprise medical bills, according to an analysis by the USC-Brookings Schaffer Initiative.

October 13, 2020 | Daily News

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday (Oct. 13) urged Medicaid plans to press lawmakers to again increase the federal Medicaid match during the COVID-19 pandemic but acknowledged that a new stimulus bill likely won’t come until after the November election.

October 13, 2020 | Daily News

The Democratic leaders of congressional health care committees asked the Government Accountability Office to quickly review the legality of the president’s plan to send $200 Medicare drug discount cards to seniors before the election.

October 09, 2020 | Daily News

A new article in Health Affairs recommends federal and state health officials draw on the protective regulatory approaches for seatbelts, alcohol and smoking to mandate use of face masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 -- offering a roadmap Democratic presidential-contender Joe Biden could use to seek a mask mandate should he win the presidency.

October 08, 2020 | Daily News

Though some stakeholders are praising CMS’ proposed increases to evaluation and management payments in the 2021 physician fee schedule, many physicians groups -- including the American Medical Association -- are loudly decrying the budget neutral cuts tied to those pay hikes, and lawmakers recently asked CMS to mitigate the cuts to give Congress time to step in.

October 08, 2020 | Daily News

If a Senate vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is delayed until after the election because of growing COVID-19 cases on Capitol Hill, there could be major ramifications for the future of the Affordable Care Act.

October 08, 2020 | Daily News

FDA on Wednesday (Oct. 7) quietly updated its COVID-19 testing frequently asked questions webpage to say it will no longer review emergency use authorization requests for laboratory-developed tests for COVID-19.

October 06, 2020 | Daily News

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday (Oct. 6) he has broken off talks on another COVID-19 relief package until after the Nov. 3 election and has asked Senate Republicans to focus entirely on confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, even as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that too little relief will stunt economic growth.

October 02, 2020 | Daily News

During a congressional hearing Friday (Oct. 2), HHS Secretary Alex Azar defended the Trump administration’s involvement in public health agency decisions, including White House efforts to alter or block reports and guidances, asserting that some of the actions taken are “perfectly normal” and that lawmakers are over-reacting.

October 02, 2020 | Daily News

Three House Democrats introduced a bill to penalize laboratories that take longer than three days to provide coronavirus test results and to reward fast turnarounds.

October 02, 2020 | Daily News

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Thursday (Oct. 1) urged people to stop talking about potential COVID-19 vaccines in political terms and instead focus on the science, echoing similar pleas from former FDA chiefs, doctors and public health experts, some of whom recently criticized politicians and company CEOs, including Bourla, for talking about vaccine timelines.

October 01, 2020 | Daily News

House Democrats late Thursday passed their $2.2 trillion revised HEROES bill, which includes Affordable Care Act subsides for the unemployed, increased federal matching funds for Medicaid and additional money for providers, after they failed to reach a deal with the White House, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters the talks will continue.

October 01, 2020 | Daily News

Six Senate Republicans, including several in tight races, joined Democrats’ failed move Thursday (Oct. 1) to block the administration from continuing its Supreme Court battle to shoot down the Affordable Care Act, further highlighting the GOP’s vulnerability when it comes to the ACA’s most popular provision just a day after Republicans’ effort to pass their own bill claiming to protect people with preexisting conditions fell short.

October 01, 2020 | Daily News

Celgene hiked the price of Revlimid to meet sales goals that determine executive compensation and to make it difficult for other companies to research competing cancer drugs, according to a report by the House Oversight Committee.

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