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President Donald Trump is considering nominating Alex Azar, a former executive for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, as the next secretary of HHS, which could place the agency in the hands of man who has been skeptical of value-based care and opposed drug price controls.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, have told reporters they’ve reached an agreement to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers which had been halted by President Donald Trump.

Groups representing physicians, hospitals and patients came out largely in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order to encourage the use of insurance plans which don’t comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations on benefits and covering people with pre-existing conditions.

Cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, paid to insurers in exchange for keeping out-of-pocket costs low for lower-income Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange enrollees will end, HHS announced Thursday night, with the agency saying it couldn’t legally continue making the payments.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the morning of Oct. 12 to ease rules on small businesses buying health insurance. With Congress failing to act on Republican promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump will make the unilateral move to reconfigure federal regulations.

 

Recent Headlines

Trump calls House’s ACA repeal bill ‘mean’

President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican senators the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is “mean” and asked for the Senate version to be “more generous,” according to congressional sources who spoke to the Associated Press.

CMS actuary: AHCA could cause individual market to collapse

A report from CMS Chief Actuary Paul Spitalnic estimated 13 million fewer people will have insurance coverage under the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a markedly lower figure than the 23 million predicted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

4 things to know about major medical groups’ anti-AHCA events

Eight groups representing patients, hospitals and physicians will step up efforts opposing the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act (AHCA) by holding events in four steps to “address shortcomings” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan.

AMA 2017: ACA repeal dominates leaders’ speeches

In their two speeches opening the American Medical Association’s 2017 meeting in Chicago, CEO James Madara, MD, and President Andrew Gurman, MD, both focused on the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a bill the AMA has actively opposed.

Targeted food subsidies could delay, prevent 150,500 CVD deaths in US

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has declined in the U.S., but its affects are more significant on populations with lower socioeconomic status. A recent study in PLOS Medicine found that a 10 percent subsidy of fruits and vegetables could prevent or postpone 150,500 CVD deaths by 2030.

AMA 2017: Medicaid changes in AHCA could limit healthcare delivery innovation

The American Medical Association (AMA) doesn’t think highly of how the Senate may change Medicaid funding and coverage through repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), judging by a presentation from the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago.

What AMA delegates will vote on at 2017 meeting

The 2017 annual meeting of the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates will take place June 10-14 in Chicago, with educational sessions beginning on June 9. Like every year, delegates have a full slate of proposed resolutions—some more political than related to practice—to consider.

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.

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