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CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said the Trump administration will take the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in a “new direction,” claiming the policies under the last administration encouraged consolidation and providers need more “freedom” to design new care delivery models.

Once thought to be the policy equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the Graham-Cassidy bill appears to have gained momentum—and with it, extra attention from healthcare industry groups like the American Medical Association (AMA) that have opposed Republicans’ so-far unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law.

Amid attempts to agree on short-term stabilization of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Democrats coming out in support for a “Medicare-for-all” bill, a group of Republican senators unveiled what could be their last chance to repeal and replace the ACA.

Members of the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee were encouraged to offer greater flexibility under the Affordable Care Act’s “state innovation waivers,” the details of which could spell trouble for the fledging compromise between Democrats and Republicans on a quick fix for the law.

Legislation to move the U.S. to a single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” healthcare system will be introduced Wednesday, Sept. 13, by former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, with several potential presidential contenders in 2020 already lining up behind the bill. 

 

Recent Headlines

Q&A: Duke's Daniel on the challenges of moving pharma, device companies toward value-based payment

Finding a practical path for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to enter value-based payment arrangements is the goal of a new policy consortium formed at the Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

Leaked regulation from HHS would roll back ACA’s contraceptive mandate

A draft rule from HHS would allow all employers to seek an exemption from the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s mandate to cover contraceptives in their insurance plans, leading to many patients having to pay out-of-pocket for birth control, which is currently available at no cost. 

CMS to begin replacing Medicare cards in 2018

New Medicare cards without Social Security numbers will be sent out starting in April 2018, according to CMS, meeting a deadline set by Congress to replace all cards by April 2019.

CBO report bolsters industry opposition to AHCA, worries some Republicans

Organizations representing hospitals and specialties reacted negatively to an estimate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement passed by House Republicans would result in 23 million fewer people having insurance by 2026.

CBO: AHCA would destabilize individual market in parts of U.S.

The Congressional Budget Office has released its updated report on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), saying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement passed by House Republicans would still erase the recent gains in insurance coverage and potentially price less healthy enrollees out of the individual market.

Conservative groups to Senate Republicans: No auto-enrollment in ACA repeal

Conservative advocacy groups laid out their priorities for healthcare policy as the Senate crafts its own version of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement, warning against a proposed “auto-enrollment” option to replace the ACA’s penalty for not buying insurance.  

Trump’s HHS budget cuts 16 percent across agency, including NIH, ONC

The full fiscal year 2018 budget proposal for HHS would include deep cuts to Medicaid, while making immediate cuts to National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and almost all HHS agencies. 

$400 billion California single-payer system offers providers 'little incentive' to control costs

The proposed single-payer healthcare system being debated in California would come with a $400 billion annual price tag—more than double the state’s annual budget—according to a review released by the California Senate Appropriations Committee.

90-day delay in ACA subsidy lawsuit adds to uncertainty for insurers

The Trump administration has asked for a 90-day delay on a ruling which could end Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies to insurers, pushing back a potentially market-destabilizing move but offering little assurance to actuaries working on 2018 rate requests for the ACA exchanges.

Why the House may have to vote on the AHCA again

Two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, the bill hasn’t been sent to the Senate because potential procedural problems may force the House to amend the legislation and then vote on it again.

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