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Congress

December 15, 2017 | Daily News

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said Friday (Dec. 15) that he flipped his vote on the GOP tax bill to a yes, likely guaranteeing the bill’s passage in the Senate.

December 15, 2017 | Daily News

While House Republican leaders say they will tackle entitlement reform in 2018 -- which could include Medicare and Medicaid cuts -- lobbyists and analysts say it would be difficult for such cuts to get through the Senate, especially in light of Senator-elect Doug Jones' (D) recent win in Alabama.

December 15, 2017 | Daily News

Despite bipartisan interest in the House and Senate to provide additional funding to combat the opioid epidemic, neither chamber has any concrete plans to add money to a year-end budget deal as Congress runs up on the final weeks of the year.

December 14, 2017 | Daily News

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday (Dec. 14) that the GOP will revisit problems with the Affordable Care Act in 2018, but did not specify in what way, and also said Republicans plan to pass entitlement reform through the reconciliation process next year, specifically pointing to welfare while not mentioning Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.

December 14, 2017 | Daily News

Sen. Susan Collins’(R-ME) vote for the final GOP tax bill may be in jeopardy, as funding for cost-sharing reductions and reinsurance was not included in the Dec. 22 Continuing Resolution and the House Freedom Caucus says the two policies likely will now reach the House floor in January, as a part of an omnibus.

December 13, 2017 | Daily News

House Republicans on Wednesday (Dec. 13) added the CHIP bill they already passed, including partisan offsets, to a must-pass bill to fund the government until Jan. 19.

December 13, 2017 | Daily News

Representatives of the drug-distribution sectors argued over the causes of drug prices at a House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee hearing Wednesday (Dec. 13), but lawmakers were left with unanswered questions and committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) said the subcommittee will likely hold another hearing on drug prices early next year.

December 13, 2017 | Daily News

The preliminary tax deal hammered out by House and Senate GOP leaders includes the Senate provision to repeal the ACA's individual mandate, and is expected to lower the medical expense deduction threshold to 7.5 percent of income as proposed by the Senate, whereas the House would have scrapped the deduction.

December 13, 2017 | Daily News

Next year the administration will continue to divvy up set-aside funds for states to fight the opioid epidemic based on a state's population, rather than need, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz told senators Wednesday (Dec. 13).

December 13, 2017 | Daily News

Health care activists and Democrats are calling on the GOP Senate to hold off a vote on the tax bill, which is expected to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, until Alabama's Democratic Senator-elect Doug Jones is seated in the upper chamber.

December 12, 2017 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of six senators recently urged the upper chamber's leadership to include a provision to prevent a cut to hospital reimbursement for 340B drugs in an end-of-the-year package -- though it is unclear what legislation lawmakers may look to pass once the current continuing resolution runs out Dec. 22.

December 12, 2017 | Daily News

House Ways & Means Republicans on Tuesday (Dec. 12) introduced a package of bills that would delay the Affordable Care Act's medical device tax by five years, reduce the tax on health issuers that are able to rebate consumers in 2018 and provide full relief to all issuers in 2019, stop implementation of the employer mandate, push the start date for the controversial Cadillac tax by one year to 2021, and freeze for two years the ban on using consumer-directed accounts to purchase over- the-counter medications.

December 12, 2017 | Daily News

After huddling with Vice President Mike Pence outside the GOP Conference lunch Tuesday, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) expressed confidence that market stabilization bills to fund the ACA's cost-sharing reduction payments and set up reinsurance funding would be included in must-pass legislation before the end of the year.

December 12, 2017 | Daily News

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday (Dec. 12) proposed letting drug companies offer varying up-front discounts because doing so would move industry away from rebates that are blamed for obscuring business deals many lobbyists and policy analysts say contribute to price increases.

December 12, 2017 | Daily News

Three days before the 2018 Affordable Care Act open enrollment period comes to an end, the ranking Democrats on the Senate Finance and Health committees are asking the Trump administration to extend the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period to Jan. 31 amid speculation among Washington insiders that an extension or grace period isn't forthcoming.

December 08, 2017 | Daily News

Stakeholders lobbying to remove the Affordable Care Act's 40 percent tax on high-cost employer plans now set to go into effect in 2020 are hopeful a two-year delay of the tax will make it into a year-end spending bill, and note that if Congress fails to act soon employers will begin making health benefit decisions that will be impossible to reverse.

December 08, 2017 | Daily News

Lawmakers still hope to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program by year's end, even though the omnibus appropriations bill on which lobbyists thought CHIP would ride seems to be slipping into next year.

December 08, 2017 | Daily News

Congress' Medicare pay advisers plan to vote in January on a draft recommendation to eliminate and replace the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, which Commissioner David Grabowski said belongs in the “bad pay for performance hall of fame.”

December 08, 2017 | Daily News

President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Patent and Trademark Office was hesitant during his recent nomination hearing to endorse criticisms of the inter partes review process and declined to give his view on the constitutionality of the process.

December 07, 2017 | Daily News

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) cited Avalere research, which found cost-sharing reduction and reinsurance funding could lower premiums by as much as 18 percent in 2019, on the Senate floor Thursday (Dec. 7) in a press for Congress to pass the Alexander-Murray CSR deal and $10 billion in reinsurance funding by year's end.

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