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Health-Exchange-Alert

May 24, 2019 | Daily News

HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on Friday (May 24) proposed to replace the Obama-era rule on the ACA’s non-discrimination section 1557 with a significantly altered rule that rolls back protections for transgender individuals and woman who have had an abortion, repeals several language access requirements, and narrows the scope of the provision.

May 23, 2019 | Daily News

CMS on Thursday (May 23) announced it will again provide $10 million a year in grants to fund the Affordable Care Act’s navigator program for the 34 states that fully rely on the federal government for their exchange functions, releasing a $20 million funding opportunity through 2021 since the agency has extended the performance period for two years.

May 23, 2019 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, led by emergency room physician Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), unveiled Thursday (May 23) an outline of legislation that would hold patients harmless from surprise bills and allow providers and issuers to resolve payment disputes through arbitration.

May 23, 2019 | Daily News

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced Wednesday that it will hear oral arguments in the high-prolife lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act, Texas v. Azar, on July 9.

May 22, 2019 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Wednesday (May 22) said court decisions that struck down 1115 Medicaid work requirement waivers in Kentucky and Arkansas, as well as concerns from the Government Accountability Office about waiver evaluations, won’t change the administration’s plans for Medicaid.

May 22, 2019 | Daily News

Lawmakers stuck to partisan lines as they debated the tradeoffs of a single-payer health care system during a House Budget Committee hearing, with Republicans focusing on how a transition to the system could disrupt American health policy and Democrats highlighting the potential positive outcomes.

May 21, 2019 | Daily News

Federal DC District Judge Richard Leon again said from the bench that he supported the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term plans and sympathized with the Department of Treasury’s argument that the plaintiffs are playing politics in the courtroom.

May 20, 2019 | Daily News

Several lobbyists on Monday suggested the Senate health committee could unveil a discussion draft of policy proposals to lower health care costs as soon as Thursday (May 23).

May 20, 2019 | Daily News

Families USA, in a move reminiscent of the run-up to the Affordable Care Act debate, is spearheading a new alliance of beneficiary advocates, employers, unions and primary care doctors who say they are willing to rethink traditional partnerships to tackle fundamental problems with the nation’s health system by changing economic incentives.

May 17, 2019 | Daily News

A coalition of employer associations representing restaurant, retail, hotel and other workers applauds a bipartisan, bicameral effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time employee, currently set at 30 hours a week for the employer mandate, so that it aligns with the traditional 40-hour threshold, and hopes the Employer Flexibility Act will be included in a must-pass bill.

May 17, 2019 | Daily News

CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services Chris Traylor announced his departure from CMS Friday (May 17) months after taking on the role, making him the fourth person to leave the role in the last 18 months and the third departure of a top CMS official in the past couple of weeks.

May 17, 2019 | Daily News

CMS should revise its policies to provide more transparency on states’ requests for 1115 waivers in their Medicaid programs, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Friday (May 17).

May 16, 2019 | Daily News

Senate committee leaders are looking to include surprise billing legislation and several drug-pricing bills in an upcoming health care cost-reduction package.

May 16, 2019 | Daily News

House lawmakers debated and adopted more than two dozen amendments to the drug-pricing and Affordable Care Act fix package of seven bills that passed the floor Thursday (May 16), most of which focused on further steps to shore up the marketplace and received no GOP support although Republicans did not oppose a few of the ideas.

May 16, 2019 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of senators that has been working on a plan to curb surprise billing released legislation Thursday (May 16) that calls for a baseball-style arbitration process for settling disputes between providers and insurers -- a process opposed by the White House and not included in the recently released House draft legislation.

May 15, 2019 |

Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said FTC faces many challenges in antitrust enforcement– including falling resources, the inability to study the insurance industry without explicit congressional authorization, lack of authority to review non-profit hospitals’ activities, a reliance on insurers’ data and the large amount of evidence courts require to show a merger could be harmful.

May 15, 2019 | Daily News

Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said FTC faces many challenges in antitrust enforcement– including falling resources, the inability to study the insurance industry without explicit congressional authorization, lack of authority to review non-profit hospitals’ activities, a reliance on insurers’ data and the large amount of evidence courts require to show a merger could be harmful.

May 14, 2019 | Daily News


Five House committee chairs stepped up pressure on the Department of Justice and the White House counsel to hand over documents showing why the administration recently shifted positions in Texas v. Azar and is now calling on the courts to scrap the entire Affordable Care Act, warning lawmakers  may issue a subpoena if the administration  doesn't provide documents and a transcribed interview of Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought by May 24.

May 14, 2019 | Daily News

House Democrats have delayed a floor vote on the Energy & Commerce-passed reinsurance bill because they hope to package it with legislation to lower Affordable Care Act premiums, a senior House Democratic aide told Inside Health Policy.

May 14, 2019 | Daily News

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) introduced a bill Tuesday (May 14) that would allow Medicaid enrollees to choose to use a pre-paid “swipe card” to purchase medical care -- a proposal Green said would drive down costs and introduce more competition into the health sector, but one policy analyst said might instead drive up costs.

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