A federal judge in Texas has turned back the first challenge to the nascent Medicare prescription-drug negotiation program. But the case turned on a technicality, and drugmakers have many more lawsuits in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, Congress is approaching yet another funding deadline, and doctors hope the next funding bill will cancel the Medicare pay cut that took effect in January.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Post.
Julie Rovner KFF Health News @jrovner
Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News’ weekly health policy news podcast, “What the Health?” A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book “Health Care Politics and Policy A to Z,” now in its third edition.
Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), chair of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced she would retire at the end of the congressional session, setting off a scramble to chair a panel with significant oversight of Medicare, Medicaid, and the U.S. Public Health Service. McMorris Rodgers is one of several Republicans with significant health expertise to announce their departures.
- As Congress’ next spending bill deadline approaches, lobbyists for hospitals are feverishly trying to prevent a Medicare provision on “site-neutral” payments from being attached.
- In abortion news, anti-abortion groups are joining the call for states to better outline when life and health exceptions to abortion bans can be legally permissible.
- Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is asking the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate a company that collected location data from patients at 600 Planned Parenthood sites and sold it to anti-abortion groups.
- And in “This Week in Health Misinformation”: Lawmakers in Wyoming and Montana float bills to let people avoid getting blood transfusions from donors who have been vaccinated against covid-19.
Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too:
Julie Rovner: Stateline’s “Government Can Erase Your Medical Debt for Pennies on the Dollar — And Some Are,” by Anna Claire Vollers.
Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “‘There Was a Lot of Anxiety’: Florida’s Immigration Crackdown Is Causing Patients to Skip Care,” by Arek Sarkissian.
Rachel Cohrs: Stat’s “FTC Doubles Down in Welsh Carson Anesthesia Case to Limit Private Equity’s Physician Buyouts,” by Bob Herman. And Modern Healthcare’s “Private Equity Medicare Advantage Investment Slumps: Report,” by Nona Tepper.
Lauren Weber: The Wall Street Journal’s “Climate Change Has Hit Home Insurance. Is Health Insurance Next?” by Yusuf Khan.
Also mentioned on this week’s podcast:
- Francis Ying Audio producer
- Stephanie Stapleton Editor
This article was reprinted from khn.org, a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF – the independent source for health policy research, polling, and journalism.