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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.

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Medicaid Stakeholders Perplexed By Withdrawal Of Block Grant Proposal

CMS on Friday (Nov. 15) withdrew a proposed guidance letter on Medicaid block grants that had been under review at the White House budget office since June, but the agency on Monday (Nov. 18) reiterated recent comments from Administrator Seema Verma promising that it will soon issue guidance on new ways for states to finance Medicaid.

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The latest House continuing resolution to fund the government, unveiled Monday (Nov. 18), extends through Dec. 20 the same package of so-called health extenders included in the short-term CR that is set to expire Nov. 21, including an extended delay of the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital pay cuts.

Ten Democratic lawmakers, including two Democratic presidential candidates, are calling on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to assess the potential of alternative payment models to lower rates of maternal mortality, but to be wary of models that might exacerbate health inequities.

Advocates for Medicaid expansion are claiming another electoral victory after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) narrowly won re-election on Saturday (Nov. 16).

Brand and generic drug companies disagree over the usefulness of FDA’s and the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to address gaming of FDA’s risk mitigation strategies, according to a report published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Thursday (Nov. 14).

FDA cleared for marketing the first duodenoscope with a sterile, disposable elevator component, which is intended to reduce the number of parts that need to be cleaned and disinfected between uses, the agency announced Friday (Nov. 15).

The Trump administration plans to implement a controversial price transparency rule in 2021 and officials insisted the administration is on solid footing against litigation promised by the hospital industry.

The Trump administration’s proposal that health insurers be required to disclose the rates they negotiate with providers was immediately blasted by insurers, who said the rule if finalized would confuse patients with complex information and undermine competition.

Academics and beneficiary advocates are continuing to raise concerns with the Medicare Plan Finder tool as open enrollment continues -- namely that the updated website puts too much emphasis on the least expensive Medicare premium, rather than the smallest overall cost, and has missing or inaccurate cost information.

CMS has approved state plan amendments formally allowing Idaho to implement Medicaid expansion as scheduled on Jan. 1, the state said.

The House Ways & Means Committee's rural health and underserved area task force is asking stakeholders what issues should be considered as lawmakers draft bipartisan legislation -- in particular, the task force wants to pinpoint policies that have had a demonstrable, positive impact on health outcomes and workforce shortages in rural and underserved areas as well as the availability of long-term care.