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Senate Passes GOP Tax Cuts Package; House and Senate Bills Now Move to Conference Committee

After a week of frenzied debate and last minute deal making, the Senate approved a sweeping package of tax cuts by a vote of 51 to 49 with Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and all Democrats voting in opposition. It remained unclear...more

Three Questions on Disaster Response with Ernie Abbott, Of Counsel, Baker Donelson

What is the status of funding for rebuilding after the recent disasters in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and what can we expect moving forward? After each of the big disasters that have...more

House Passes and Senate Considers GOP Tax Proposals, Leadership Target End of Year for Passage

On November 16, House Republicans approved H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on a party-line vote of 227 to 205, with 13 Republicans and all Democrats voting against passage. Senate Republicans are also moving toward passing...more

CMS Releases Final 2018 Medicare Payment Regulations

On November 1 and 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final 2018 Medicare Payment Regulations for the Physician Fee Schedule, Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory...more

MACRA Final Rule Continues Gradual Transition and Provider Flexibility for 2018

On November 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule implementing policies for Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization...more

House Ways and Means Committee Announces Bipartisan Medicare Extenders Package

On November 15, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) announced a bipartisan agreement on Medicare "extenders," Medicare programs and payment policies that have...more

CHIP Reauthorization Stalls in Congress, Increasing Fiscal Pressure on States

Reauthorization of federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has stalled in Congress due to partisan disagreements over fiscal offsets. The delay in the extension of federal funding has put...more

With December Deadlines Approaching, Congress Considers Another Continuing Resolution

With less than a month remaining before the December 8 deadline for adopting an appropriations deal and the December 15 deadline to lift the debt ceiling, it is increasingly likely that Congress will once again pass a...more

Affordable Care Act Initially Fades from Spotlight; Reemerges in Senate Republicans' Latest Tax Proposal

After dominating the agenda for most of 2017, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seemed to take a backseat at first as Republicans shifted their focus to enacting tax legislation. The initial momentum behind the bipartisan...more

National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Advances as Congress Debates Reform

Congress has until December 8 to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is examining a number of proposals for program reform. On November 14, the House approved the 21st Century Flood Reform Act on a...more

Alexander, Murray Announce Bipartisan Proposal on Market Stabilization

On October 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced they had agreed on a proposal for a narrow, short-term individual market...more

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

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