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President Trump Issues Far-Reaching Changes to the Affordable Care Act

On October 12, the Trump Administration announced that it would immediately terminate payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs), which subsidize health coverage for low-income enrollees in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA)...more

HHS Secretary Tom Price Resigns and the Search Begins for Replacement

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price resigned on September 29, following the collapse of Republicans' efforts to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and revelations that he spent more...more

Federal Funding for CHIP Expires, Pending Congressional Reauthorization

Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – which covers nearly nine million children nationwide at a total cost of approximately $14 billion per year – expired on September 30 as congressional action...more

Trump Administration Broadens Employer Exemption from ACA's Contraceptive Coverage Requirements

On October 6, the Trump Administration issued two new interim final rules that significantly expand exemptions for employers to the ACA's requirements to provide free contraceptive coverage. The new regulations, effective...more

Trump Executive Order Expected to Expand Association Health Plans and Short-Term Coverage

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order in the coming days that would direct federal agencies to expand access to association health plans (AHPs), which would be exempt from the ACA's coverage requirements and...more

White House Reaches Deal with Congressional Democrats to Keep Government Open and Suspend Debt Limit Until December

President Trump came to an agreement with congressional Democrats to extend FY17 federal appropriations and suspend the debt limit until December 8. The deal, which took congressional Republicans by surprise, was paired with...more

Congressional Republicans and White House Release Outline of Tax Reform Proposal

On September 27, the White House and its allies on Capitol Hill released the outline of their long-promised tax reform proposal. Generally, the outline seeks to create three individual income tax rates (12, 25, and 35...more

Graham-Cassidy Falters; Bipartisan Talks Restart on Market Stabilization

Following defections from Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), John McCain (R-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME), Senate Republican leaders announced on September 26 that they did not have the votes for the Graham-Cassidy plan – the last...more

Lawmakers Approve a Six-Month Extension of FAA Authorization

On September 28, Congress approved a six-month extension to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization, heading off a partial shutdown of the FAA. Expect negotiations over House Transportation and Infrastructure...more

Fate of Last-Minute Affordable Care Act Initiatives Uncertain

This week, the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gained new momentum in two separate, but connected channels. As the fiscal year (FY) budget reconciliation window enabling expedited passage of an ACA repeal draws to a...more

Congress Returns to Washington with a Packed Health Care Calendar

September is traditionally one of the busiest months in Washington, and this year is no exception. While much of the attention is focused on the debt ceiling debate, appropriations and the federal response to Hurricane...more

Next Steps on Tax Reform Expected Later this Fall

Long a priority of House and Senate Republicans and the White House, expect tax reform to take center stage this fall. Originally, the White House was expected to drive the discussion over tax reform and promised to release a...more

Congress and the White House Remain Divided over Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations

With the October 1 start of fiscal year 2018 coming closer, the White House, Senate and House remain far apart on the 12 regular appropriations bills that collectively fund the federal government. At this time, all parties...more

Debt Ceiling Expected to be Breached at the End of September

According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. will hit its debt limit at some point in late September. Congress has until then to raise the federal debt ceiling before the Department of the Treasury's so-called...more

Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Set to Expire September 30

At the end of the month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization is set to expire. If not reauthorized, authority to fund the FAA and the nation's airway system will cease. As has been previously reported, in...more

Hurricane Harvey Reshuffles the Deck for this Fall

Strong bipartisan support exists to respond to devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, though funding levels and the form of such relief takes are still uncertain. Initial estimates (which are expected to rise) now place the...more

Authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program Set to Expire at End of September

Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – which covers approximately 9 million children nationwide at a cost of approximately $15 billion per year – expires September 30. Thus far, congressional...more

Don't Forget Medicare and Other Extenders

There are numerous Medicare programs (referred to as Medicare "extenders") that have already expired or will expire later this year, prompting congressional action. If Congress were to reauthorize all provisions for another...more

Final Rule for MACRA's Second Year (2018) Expected in November 2017

On June 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule entitled, "Medicare Program; CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program." CMS proposed changes for the second year (2018) of the...more

Final Medicare Payment Regulations Expected for Physician Providers, Hospitals and Home Health Agencies in Fall 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released several annual Medicare proposed payment rules over the summer that are expected to be finalized this fall for 2018. On July 13, CMS released the proposed 2018...more

NAFTA Renegotiations Have Begun – Expect Them to Continue Through the Fall

In May, President Trump initiated the renegotiation process for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the landmark 1994 trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Direct talks, which began in August,...more

Movement on Infrastructure Package Possible, but Unlikely this Fall

Dating all the way back to the campaign last year, President Trump has long focused on advancing a broad-based infrastructure investment program. Initially expected this spring, the White House is now expected to release an...more

Senate Fails to Advance Health Care Reform Bill; Next Steps Remain Uncertain

After a late-night defeat, it appears that Senate Republicans' years-long push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has stalled following deep divisions between moderate and conservative members over the goals and various...more

Trustees Predict Medicare Solvent Until 2029; IPAB Not Triggered Until 2021

On July 13, the Boards of Trustees for Medicare issued the annual Trustees Report to the Congress on the financial operations and actuarial status of the Medicare Program. The trustees estimate that the trust fund financing...more

CMS Releases Proposed 2018 Medicare Payment Regulations

On July 13, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed 2018 Physician Fee Schedule that would update payment policies, payment rates and quality provisions for physicians and other medical...more

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