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President Trump Releases Drug Pricing Blueprint

On Friday, May 11, President Donald Trump and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar presented the Administration's long-awaited plan to address drug pricing. The proposed framework, entitled,...more

HHS Solicits Comments on Possible 340B Program Changes to Reduce Drug Prices

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting comments from the public on the Administration's proposals to reduce drug prices and is targeting the 340B drug pricing program as an area of focus. ...more

With a Rescission Package on the Way, Fiscal Uncertainty Persists in Washington

Having approved a two-year budget agreement in February and the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 in March, Congressional appropriators would, in most years, move on to crafting the next fiscal year's...more

New 2019 ACA Payment Policies for Individual and Small Group Markets

On April 9, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long-anticipated final Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for plan year 2019, providing standards for health insurers and the health...more

Prospects for ACA Market Stabilization Measures Remain Uncertain

With ongoing uncertainty and turmoil in the individual health insurance market, Congress has spent weeks debating whether to include a bipartisan Affordable Care Act (ACA) stabilization measure as part of the "must pass"...more

Key Health Care Provisions of Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

The wide-reaching Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), passed by Congress and signed by the President on February 9, 2018, extends and modifies dozens of health care programs, including extending funding for two years for...more

New ACA Regulation: HHS Proposes Expanded Access to Short-Term Insurance

On February 20, 2018, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule to expand the availability of Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI). Building on President Trump's...more

President's Budget on Health Care: Entitlement Reform, Opioid Funding, and Cuts to Health Programs

Note: All fiscal estimates cited over a ten-year budget window refer to the Fiscal Year 2019-2028 budget window. The President's fiscal year 2019 (FY19) budget proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...more

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

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