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Congress

June 12, 2019 | Daily News

Lawmakers spent most of the House Ways & Means Committee’s hearing on pathways to universal health coverage focusing on partisan Medicare for All talking points, even though the hearing was supposed to give them the opportunity to talk up other proposals to expand government health care.

June 12, 2019 | Daily News

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) defended his and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (KY) tobacco-to-21 bill against criticism from health advocacy groups and some senators that the bill would put states at risk of losing funding for substance abuse treatment programs and would allow the tobacco industry to undermine anti-tobacco proposals at the state level.

June 11, 2019 | Daily News

A new coalition of influential employers and insurers is encouraging Congress to tackle surprise billing via legislation that sets a benchmark payment rate and does not include arbitration.

June 11, 2019 | Daily News

House Ways & Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) is asking for feedback from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the possibility of having Medigap plans cover long-term support services for Medicare beneficiaries.

June 11, 2019 | Daily News

Stakeholders are pushing the Senate health committee to do more to protect patients from out-of-network air ambulance bills in its final draft legislation to combat surprise medical bills, outlining several policy options they say would neither require input from other committees nor step on the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory turf.

June 10, 2019 | Daily News

More than 100 provider groups called on Senate and House leaders to replace an upcoming pay freeze with pay bumps, extend alternative pay model bonuses and make other improvements to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.

June 10, 2019 | Daily News

Democratic leaders of key House committees ask CMS to provide by June 18 more details on its enhanced direct enrollment process that lets consumers sign up for an exchange plan via a third party without going through the marketplace.

June 10, 2019 | Daily News

Stakeholders supporting both independent arbitration or a set benchmark payment rate as a fix for surprise medical bills are encouraging the Senate health committee to change its proposed payment standard in order to prevent providers and physicians from losing money.

June 10, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants FDA to expedite the review of the 12 sunscreen ingredients that the agency recently determined, via a proposed rule in February, did not have sufficient evidence to be deemed safe and effective.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

As support builds among insurers, think tanks and some lawmakers for including network matching, also known as an in-network guarantee, in surprise billing legislation, physician groups and hospitals warn the proposal could hurt physicians and benefit insurers with no benefit to patients.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

Lobbyists for brand drug makers have told Senate Finance Committee staff they’re open to paying a share of seniors’ catastrophic Medicare Part D drug costs in exchange for capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs and relieving drug makers of the 70% discounts they currently must pay for drugs that beneficiaries take while in the donut hole, according to sources close to the negotiations.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

A Senate Finance Committee task force has added the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax to the list of health fees for which it is seeking a permanent fix, a Senate staffer confirmed.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) plans to work on a rural health package and changes to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments formula separately, according to the lawmaker’s office, though earlier this year he had discussed the possibility of putting the two together.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), a longtime champion of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans, dubbed the “Cadillac tax,” filed a motion to schedule a House vote now that the bipartisan repeal bill has gathered 345 co-sponsors.

June 06, 2019 | Daily News

Members of the House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee agreed that extending funding for community health centers, the National Health Services Corps, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program for more than two years is a priority, but some House Republicans at a hearing on Tuesday (June 4) expressed concern about paying for the programs.

June 05, 2019 | Daily News

CMS plans to soon post a list of nursing homes that are candidates for the Special Focus Facility program -- there are 88 slots in the program designed to increase oversight of underperforming facilities and more than 400 candidates for those slots -- after Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) recently released a report calling for the candidates to be made public.

June 05, 2019 | Daily News

A bipartisan bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s ban on new physician-owned hospitals was unveiled Tuesday (June 4) by House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee ranking Republican Michael Burgess (TX) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX).

June 05, 2019 | Daily News

The bipartisan National Governors Association wants the federal government to let states import drugs and exclude Medicaid coverage of fast-tracked, first-in-class drugs while additional tests are done on them.

June 05, 2019 | Daily News

The House Ways & Means Committee will hold a hearing on Medicare for All and other coverage expansion options on June 12, making it the first health care committee of jurisdiction to hold a hearing on the progressive health policy priority and the third time a House committee has examined single player in the past month.

June 05, 2019 | Daily News

Proposals to reform the 340B program were excluded from three legislative packages to cut health care cost that have either been recently introduced or publicly disclosed, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), an author of 340B legislation, said that’s because Democrats are not on board.

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