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Nancy Pelosi is negotiating with the White House on far-reaching drug-pricing legislation and Medicare reforms, and Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is pushing for a floor vote on a bill detested by the drug industry. Now is the time to try Inside Health Policy.

Sign up for 30 days of no-obligation access for all the essential news during this critical time -- you'll be able to choose one of our online services as part of your trial: Inside CMS, FDA Week, Health Exchange Alert or Inside Drug Pricing.

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Republican Study Committee 2020 Health Plan Coming Next Week

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) plans to release a lengthy, wide-ranging health policy proposal next Tuesday (Oct. 22) that House members can point to as a GOP health plan during the 2020 campaign.

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The American Health Care Association called on CMS on Friday (Oct. 11) to change its new nursing home alert icon, saying it will completely deter consumers from nursing homes rather than help them understand the quality of the nursing home.

As FDA parries arguments that its approval standards have changed, allowing for therapies to get on the market faster with little evidence, former FDA chief Robert Califf told a group of stakeholders in the data industry that he, too, is worried that a number of new treatments are getting on the market with no actual understanding of clinical benefit and risk.

Hospitals and physicians say CMS shouldn’t aim for site neutrality by bringing everyone’s payments to the lowest rate, and hospitals also say CMS doesn’t have authority to continue site-neutral pay cuts to certain clinics in light of a recent court ruling that found those cuts unlawful.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed controversial legislation designed to eliminate the financial incentives for dialysis firms to contribute to charitable premium assistance programs by limiting reimbursement for certain patients that receive such assistance, and a kidney charity has already said it will stop operating in the state Jan. 1 due to the law.

A New York federal judge on Friday (Oct. 11) temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s so-called public charge rule to make it difficult for immigrants to become permanent U.S. residents if they briefly use Medicaid or other forms of public assistance.

Federal appellate judges grilled a lawyer for the Trump administration on Friday (Oct. 11) over the administration’s policy allowing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs, with all the members of a three-judge panel -- two Democratic appointees and one Republican appointee -- expressing skepticism that work requirements can promote the goals of Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that House Democrats’ bill to negotiating drug prices would save taxpayers $345 billion in six years, but that savings would come at the cost of 8 to 15 fewer drugs being invented over a decade -- FDA approves about 30 new drugs annually.

FDA is examining the authorities it has under tobacco and drug regulations that it could bring to bear on suppliers and distributors that tamper with vaping products linked to the outbreak of lung illnesses that have now been identified in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, officials from FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters Friday (Oct. 11).

Conservative advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform says the White House’s executive orders that aim to rein in agency regulations could provide a “strong basis” for federal lawsuits against FDA and HHS should the agencies move forward with a ban on flavored vaping products, which is expected to be implemented through guidance within weeks.

CMS is not conducting adequate oversight of hundreds of millions of dollars in administrative expenses tied to states’ implementation of Medicaid work requirements, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday (Oct. 10), and CMS rejected GAO’s recommendation to consider the administrative costs of such programs when looking at whether 1115 waivers are budget neutral.