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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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Federal Judge Blocks Public Charge Rule; Says It Would Hurt Medicaid

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.

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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.

Medicare Advantage plans are offering transportation benefits, companionship programs, and pest control as part of their 2020 benefit packages, but beneficiary advocates and Oregon’s senators say the new Medicare Plan Finder tool doesn’t give enough information to beneficiaries on these benefits.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund unveiled 89 endorsements for key House and Senate races as part of a $45 million campaign to combat the Trump administration’s changes to the Title X program and other reproductive health policies in the 2020 election.

Humira tops the list of seven drugs with the biggest unsupported price increases that collectively added $5.1 billion in U.S. drug spending, according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, which published the inaugural annual list Tuesday (Oct. 8).

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday (Oct. 7) signed the nation’s first state law discouraging settlements between drug makers that delay generic competition, sparking strong opposition from the generic drug lobby, which alleges the law is unconstitutional.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Oct. 9) signed a pair of executive orders that, according to the White House, aim to create a transparent process for regulation and reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses.