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Several changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have been included in a proposed rule by CMS in an effort to fight opioid abuse among seniors while taking another step towards reducing regulations.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, nearly 1.5 million people signed up for health insurance coverage on the Healthcare.gov exchange, an increase of almost 500,000 from the same period last year.

Republican leaders in the Senate announced Nov. 14 they will include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in their tax reform proposal. After failing numerous times to repeal and replace the ACA, GOP leaders are hoping to include the healthcare reform in the tax bill.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a public health advisory about risks associated with kratom, an herbal supplement used to treat pain and reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.

In the first update to U.S. guidelines on blood pressure in 14 years, a writing committee changed the definition of high blood pressure from 140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher to 130/80 or higher.

 

Recent Headlines

CMS: Fewer insurer sign-ups on exchange show ACA is ‘failing’

The number of applications for insurers planning to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges for 2018 has fallen by 38 percent, according to CMS.

Senate unlikely to vote on ACA repeal until week of July 17

After failing to meet their self-imposed June 30 deadline to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Senate Republicans now say they’ll need another week in Washington before the bill may advance.

CBO: Senate healthcare bill would cut Medicaid more deeply over 20-year period

If the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) became law, Medicaid spending would be 35 percent lower by 2036 compared to levels under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.

Legislation limiting malpractice damages passes House

Noneconomic damages in certain medical malpractice lawsuits would be capped at $250,000 under a bill passed through the House with only Republican support on June 28.

Senate to delay ACA replacement vote until after July 4 recess

The Senate will not vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before the July 4 recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, informed his Republican colleagues at a June 27 lunch, according to multiple news outlets.

CBO: Senate’s ACA repeal bill would destabilize some markets, increase deductibles

Some 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs would sharply rise while premiums would be lower and certain markets could be unstable if the Senate’s version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace plan becomes law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Six-month insurance lockout penalty added to Senate ACA repeal bill

Four days after they first released it publicly, Senate Republicans have made a change to their version on Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace legislation, adding a “continuous coverage” provision to try and discourage people from canceling their insurance plans.

Industry groups oppose Senate ACA repeal: ‘We cannot let this happen’

Reaction to the Senate’s version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace plan, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) ranged from strong opposition from physician and hospital groups to outrage from Democrats, while one insurance organization saw some positives in the legislation.

Q+A: AMGA says MACRA proposed rule sends wrong message on value-based care

Groups representing physicians, hospitals, internists and health IT were quick to praise the proposed rule for the second year of the new payment tracks under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The American Medical Group Association, however, has a decidedly different take.

Senate’s version of ACA repeal released

The legislation takes many provisions from the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) under a new name: the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

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