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After a weekend retreat with President Donald Trump, Republicans seem to have narrowed their focus for the year down to the basics. Although House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has previously announced that he’d like to tackle safety-net programs, others in the party have no interest in pursuing such issues during a campaign year.
Alex Azar, however, enjoys strong support from Republicans on the Finance Committee, so it’s unlikely the hearing will damage his path to confirmation.
The Senate and House must reconcile their two versions, but it’s looking like the long-held Republican goal of repealing the health law’s individual mandate will make it into the legislation. Meanwhile, a study finds that bipartisan ACA fixes that were part of the lure to get Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to support the tax bill would cut premiums by about 18 percent in 2019.
Negotiating Medicare drug pricing and withdrawing tax deductions for pharmaceutical ads are among the steps the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s report urges the federal government to take soon.
“We are trying to do whatever we can to increase competition and give the (health insurance) plans more tools so that they can be better negotiators on our behalf,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services chief Seema Verma tells Reuters. In other CMS news, Verma also comments on 1332 waivers.
News outlets examine how some aspects of the House and Senate GOP tax plans currently winding their ways through Congress could impact the Medicare program. In addition, the Senate measure’s provision to repeal the individual mandate is raising concern among some insurance commissioners. However, the stock market sees benefits for the health sector.
President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services will answer senators’ questions Wednesday during his first confirmation hearing. Drug pricing and Obamacare are expected to top the subject list.
The clinics are being held around Southern California for anyone who is eligible for Medicare.
But monthly premiums aren’t the only thing to consider when shopping for the best plan.
There are a number of events and resources to help participants.