Health Care Weekly Preview from ML Strategies – July 2018

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This week, Congress returns from recess to another four-week work period that will immediately become contentious. Tonight, President Trump is expected to make his Supreme Court pick this week. This could change the dynamics in Congress. With the Senate now able to move a Supreme Court nominee free from the consensus-driving role of the filibuster, will Democrats want to be seen as working with Senate Republicans on any issue? Before Justice Kennedy’s retirement, an opioids package passing Congress seemed plausible bordering on likely. After tonight and the reaction that follows, opioids may be pushed off the table through the election.

Over the weekend, the Trump Administration announced that it would suspend risk adjustment payments. CMS stated the decision to halt payments came after a New Mexico district court decided the payments were based on flawed rules. CMS is see king a “quick resolution to the legal issues” due to a conflicting ruling in a Massachusetts court which upheld the payments. The decision to freeze risk adjustment payments, however temporary, could negatively impact premiums for plan year 2019 as uncertainly mounts. The impact will vary down to the state and even county level.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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