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White House Unveils Long-Awaited Infrastructure Proposal

On Monday, February 12, as part of the President's FY19 budget proposal, the Trump Administration lifted the curtain on a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that would focus on public private partnerships and increased...more

Trump Administration Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

On February 12, 2018, the White House released the President's Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget, outlining a $4.4 trillion federal budget proposal that prioritizes substantially higher spending on the military and on border...more

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: Major Impacts on Health Care

After a brief federal government shutdown overnight, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 on February 9, 2018. The Senate voted 71-28 and the House voted 240-186 to approve the...more

Medicare Extenders Included in House-Passed Continuing Resolution

On February 6, 2018, the House voted 242-182 to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend government funding until March 23, 2018 (H.R. Res 128). The CR includes provisions to extend funding for a number of Medicare...more

Challenges for the Affordable Care Act Remain in 2018

After repeated attempts to repeal failed in 2017, overarching federal reform of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) appears unlikely in 2018. However, ongoing uncertainty and turmoil in the individual insurance market will ensure...more

Trump Administration Asserts New Vision for Medicaid

In 2018, Congress may revisit proposals to enact either per capita caps or a block grant for Medicaid and offer broader flexibility on Medicaid expansion rules. However, major structural reform to Medicaid remains unlikely...more

Opioid Epidemic Continues to Worsen

Health care stakeholders, the Administration, and Congress are likely to continue responding to the worsening nationwide opioid abuse epidemic. Last October, President Trump declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to...more

Future of Medicare: Funding for Extenders and Payment Policy Priorities

Health care stakeholders are increasing pressure on Congress to continue funding for a series of Medicare "extenders" – Medicare program and payment policies that expired at the end of 2017. Some examples of the extenders...more

Drug Pricing May Return to HHS Agenda in 2018

Despite President Trump's pledge to rein in prescription drug pricing, the Administration did not take substantial action to address this issue in 2017. With the expected confirmation of Alex Azar – who is a former Eli Lilly...more

Continued Contention over CMS 340B Drug Payment Policy

In a major development last fall, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its proposal to pay hospitals less for certain physician-administered drugs purchased through the 340B Drug Discount Program....more

Congress Passes Government Funding Measures

On December 21, Congress passed a bill to continue funding the government through January 19, 2018, averting a potential government shutdown ahead of the December 22, 2017, deadline for the previous funding measure. The House...more

Congress Passes GOP Tax Overhaul Legislation

Congress has now approved the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) on a party-line vote (51-48 Senate, 224-201 House), sending the GOP tax overhaul to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. The...more

Republicans Release Final Tax Bill Agreement

On Friday, December 15, Republican House and Senate negotiators announced they had come to an agreement on a final tax bill that they expect to vote on this week and that may potentially be signed into law by President Trump...more

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

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