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Senate Republicans unveil health care reform bill; CMS proposes updates to the Quality Payment Program

On June 22, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the draft Senate health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Earlier today, Senate Republican leadership released a new discussion draft. As of this afternoon, Republican leadership reportedly has firm commitments from less than the 50 Senators needed to approve the legislation … Continue reading

US Senate Republican leadership releases new draft of health care reform legislation

Earlier this afternoon U.S. Senate Republican leadership released a new discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Senate Republican leadership released the first version of the draft legislation last Thursday, June 22. This new discussion draft includes a provision to encourage individuals to maintain continuous health care coverage. This provision, which would … Continue reading

U.S. Senate health care reform legislation if enacted into law will make significant changes to the Affordable Care Act

U.S. Senate Republican leadership yesterday released its draft health care reform legislation entitled the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.” The Senate legislation would retain two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):  (i) insurers are prohibited from denying coverage or increasing an individual’s premiums based on a preexisting medical condition; and (ii) young … Continue reading

U.S. Senate Republican leadership releases draft text of health care reform legislation entitled “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”

This morning U.S. Senate Republican leadership released a 142-page “Discussion Draft” of the Senate health care reform legislation entitled “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly is pushing for a vote as soon as next Thursday, June 29. The Congressional Budget Office is considering the projected financial effects of this … Continue reading

Senate Republicans consider options for ending Medicaid expansion, projected insurer participation in 2018 health insurance exchanges; MedPAC report to Congress

Republican Senators previously appointed by Senate GOP leadership reportedly are continuing to draft Senate health care legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any scheduled committee hearings on the bill. While the text of the Senate health care bill remains undisclosed, Republican Senators have reportedly been working to reach a consensus … Continue reading

Republican Senators continue work on health care reform legislation while another insurer withdraws from a state ACA marketplace; U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees hold hearings this week on the cost of prescription drugs and funding for safety net health programs

Last Tuesday, Senior Republican leadership in the Senate held a closed-door briefing for Republican Senate members regarding Senate health care reform legislation.  Senior Republican leadership reportedly indicated that they favor the retention of guaranteed protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, a more gradual roll back of the expansion of Medicaid, and may opt to keep … Continue reading

US Senate returns from recess with Senate Republicans hoping to draft their version of health care reform legislation; members urge HHS to allow charitable assistance programs to provide financial assistance to patients

The US Senate resumes business this week after a week-long recess with Senate Republicans hoping to begin to draft their version of health care reform legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed doubt whether Republicans will have the minimum 50 votes necessary in the Senate to pass the bill. The most significant issues … Continue reading

Congressional Budget Office releases score of American Health Care Act of 2017 as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives; Senate Republicans continue work on their version of health care reform legislation

On May 24th, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The CBO estimates that the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over 10 years.  The CBO also estimates that if enacted, in … Continue reading

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues health care reform directives; Senate committee passes telehealth bill

While the Senate continues to work on its version of health care reform legislation, the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been busy streamlining and de-regulating current processes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On May 16, CMS released a Checklist for Section 1332 Innovation … Continue reading

Bipartisan effort to provide greater transparency into federally-negotiated settlement agreements

This week, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and James Lankford (R-OK) reintroduced a bill designed to provide the public with more information about settlement agreements between federal agencies and companies and individuals. The bill, called the Truth in Settlements Act, was first introduced in 2014. In September 2015, it was unanimously passed by the Senate … Continue reading

U.S. Senate begins considering health care legislation; CBO to release score of American Health Care Act next week

Congressional work on health care legislation took a back seat last week to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.  Nonetheless, there was some health care activity. As previously reported, on May 4 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 1628) (AHCA) by a vote of 217-213.  … Continue reading

House narrowly passes American Health Care Act; Republican Senators signal they will draft a health care bill from scratch

Following a series of thwarted efforts and delays, on May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a narrow margin of 217-213 the American Health Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 1628) (AHCA), a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation first estimated … Continue reading

Vote on MacArthur Amendment delayed; Trump Administration will continue to pay subsidies to insurers for low-income individuals; CMS issues three new payment rules for FY 2018 proposing increased payments to skilled-nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and hospice care

Vote on MacArthur Amendment delayed: Last week, the House delayed voting on a revised bill to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, thwarting White House plans to hold a vote before President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. The revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) would include the amendment drafted by Representative Tom … Continue reading

Efforts to revive the American Health Care Act Continue

Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives released a summary of a proposed amendment to the American Health Care Act, which they hope will help the bill garner enough votes to pass. The amendment is intended to appeal to both moderate Republicans and members of the Freedom Caucus. The so-called “MacArthur Amendment,” spearheaded by … Continue reading

CMS issues FY 2018 IPPS proposed rule and final rule intended to stabilize insurance marketplaces; Trump Administration threatens to end cost-sharing subsidies and vows to pass the AHCA

Despite Congress being on Easter recess, last week was a busy week in Washington.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) proposed rule.   The rule provides that the proposed increase in operating payment rates for general acute care hospitals paid under the IPPS … Continue reading

Senate confirms Gorsuch, White House and Republican Congressional Leadership attempt to revive AHCA

Senate confirms Gorsuch On Friday, prior to leaving for its Easter recess, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The final vote was 54-45 in favor of confirmation. Judge Gorsuch was sworn in today. Of note to the healthcare industry is Justice Gorsuch’s opposition to … Continue reading

Trump Administration and Republican Congressional leadership shift focus following non-vote on ACA repeal and replace legislation; States push for Medicaid expansion

Republican Congressional leadership quickly reprioritized and refocused their efforts following the Trump Administration and House Republican leadership’s failure to secure enough votes for full House passage of the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), the bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). As previously covered, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the … Continue reading

Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act fails to pass

On Friday, March 24, the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), the bill to repeal and replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), failed to garner enough support in the House of Representatives for passage. Late Friday afternoon, Speaker Ryan announced that he – with agreement from President Trump – had pulled the AHCA from going … Continue reading

CBO releases assessment on American Health Care Act; FDA fees double under President Trump budget proposal

On Monday, March 13, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released an assessment on the impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The assessment evaluated the impact of the AHCA on the federal budget and … Continue reading

Republicans advance ACA repeal and replace legislation through 2 House Committees; House Budget Committee will take up Bill this week

On Thursday, March 9, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee approved by a party-line vote the tax provisions in the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA is the Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA). On the same day the House Energy and Commerce Committee … Continue reading

House Republicans release Affordable Care Act replacement legislation

On Monday evening, March 6, House Republicans released proposed legislation that would replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The proposed legislation would: Eliminate the individual and large employer mandates Permit insurers to impose a surcharge up to 30 percent on individuals who go uninsured for more than two months and then purchase coverage Provide tax … Continue reading

News from DC – President Trump addresses a Joint Session of Congress and House Republicans revise ACA replacement legislation and schedule hearings

On Tuesday, February 28, President Trump addressed a Joint Session of Congress and outlined his Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement legislation principles.  The President endorsed a tax credit and expanded Health Savings Accounts to help people purchase health care insurance.  He reiterated that individuals should be able to purchase health insurance across state lines.  The President … Continue reading

News from DC – GOP’s Draft Bill Illuminates Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

While Congress was in recess last week, members met with constituents at home. For those senators and representatives who he­­­­ld town hall meetings, the ACA repeal and replace effort was the hot topic. Many constituents expressed concerns about loss of health insurance coverage. Meanwhile, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 48 percent of … Continue reading

News from DC – Immigration

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” (EO) barring foreign nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days, and if refugees, for 120 days except for Syrian refugees whose … Continue reading
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