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GOP Health Reform

September 21, 2018 | Daily News

Maryland officials announced that the state's final Affordable Care Act individual market premiums for 2019 will decrease on average 13 percent, bringing the rates significantly lower than the original requests due to the state's new reinsurance program.

September 21, 2018 | Daily News

The Trump administration will again allot $10 million for marketing and outreach during the upcoming Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which is 90 percent less than spent by the Obama administration in 2017.

September 21, 2018 | Daily News

Former CMS officials, a Democrat and a Republican, discussed the intense political pressure CMS staff would be subject to if Medicare were to negotiate drug prices, and they said the current system is preferable.

September 20, 2018 | Daily News

CMS on Thursday (Sept. 20) told assisters working to help people get coverage through healthcare.gov that certain victims of Hurricane Florence may qualify for an exceptional circumstance special enrollment (SEP) period that allows them additional time to enroll, and they may be eligible for other SEPs due to relocating outside of their region or other reasons.

September 20, 2018 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that the agency is not directing or encouraging states to include opioid-abuse treatment, substance-abuse treatment, or mental health benefits in short-term plans and is leaving regulation of the plans up to individual states.

September 20, 2018 | Daily News

Two top Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform want the committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), to subpoena HHS and CMS for documents about the Trump administration’s support of Medicaid work requirements.

September 20, 2018 | Daily News

A White House budget official said HHS is being extremely deliberative about potential changes to to the Stark, or physician self-referral, and anti-kickback statutes because making changes the wrong way could increase fraud and abuse and hurt Medicare’s budget.

September 20, 2018 | Daily News

A White House budget official said that the administration is doing “a lot of work right now on medical device stuff that nobody knows about,” and that he hopes to see some of those ideas start coming from CMS in the next six months.

September 19, 2018 | Daily News

Several congressional Medicaid advisers said Thursday (Sept. 13) they’re enthusiastic about the idea of giving states a grace period before covering newly approved drugs and lifting the Medicaid rebate cap.

September 19, 2018 | Daily News

Several Republican-led states will have an urgent policy dilemma weighing on them at the beginning on the 2019 legislative session: change their state laws or don’t fully implement the Trump administration’s short-term plan alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

September 19, 2018 | Daily News

Following CMS’ approval of Maryland’s reinsurance program, several Affordable Care Act insurers in the state are now seeking large price decreases, marking the first time in four years that some state insurers have asked to reduce Obamacare premiums.

September 18, 2018 | Daily News

Sources say brand and generic drug trade groups have agreed in principle on a deal that couples a tweaked version of the generic-backed bill to stop brands from using drug safety requirements to delay competition with brand-backed Part D bills to reduce brands’ contribution to beneficiaries’ donut hole costs and avert the so-called coverage gap “cliff.”

September 17, 2018 | Daily News

The Senate voted 98-to-2 for legislation to stop all health plans and pharmacy benefit managers in the commercial market from using gag orders to prevent pharmacists from telling customers, unless asked, when it is cheaper to buy drugs without insurance.

September 17, 2018 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Monday (Sept. 17) that it is too early to draw conclusions about Arkansas’ newly enacted Medicaid work requirements, after more than 4,000 beneficiaries lost coverage for failing to show they met the requirements in the program’s first three months.

September 17, 2018 | Daily News

The Justice Department’s antitrust division approved, without conditions, Cigna’s proposed $67 billion purchase of Express Scripts, despite concerns that allowing the insurer and pharmacy benefit manager to merge could lead to higher drug prices.

September 14, 2018 | Daily News

A group of seven health industry stakeholders, including health plans and patient and providers groups, are asking a federal district court to declare the Trump administration's short-term limited plan rule unlawful, arguing it undercuts the Affordable Care Act and arbitrarily reverses earlier limits on the products.

September 14, 2018 | Daily News

The same federal judge who blocked Kentucky from implementing Medicaid work requirements in July will preside over the recently filed lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ similar work-requirement program.

September 14, 2018 | Daily News

Six states engaged in litigation over an Obamacare tax on Medicaid plans filed papers this week asking a Texas federal judge to block the IRS from collecting that tax on Oct. 1.

September 14, 2018 | Daily News

Congressional Medicaid advisers expressed dismay Thursday (Sept. 13) at early numbers out of Arkansas showing low compliance rates with and significant coverage losses as a result of the state’s new Medicaid work requirements.

September 13, 2018 | Daily News

The Labor/HHS conference bill agreed to late Thursday (Sept. 13) includes $90.3 billion in discretionary program funds for HHS, or $2.3 billion more than in 2018, invests more in medical research than the president's request, devotes nearly $4 billion to mental health and opioid treatment and omits cuts in the House version that would have blocked CMS' ability to administer the ACA.

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