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Trump’s First 100 Days: The Senate Finance Committee is meeting this morning for a confirmation vote on Seema Verma as administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If the committee approves Verma, her nomination will be sent to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. She is expected to be confirmed by the committee and the full Senate.
Trump calls for health care reforms in address to Congress
In a speech to a joint session of Congress last night, President Donald Trump laid out a broad overview of his health care agenda, which largely focuses on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Trump did not offer a full replacement plan but highlighted key components he would like to see in such a proposal, including: a repeal of the individual mandate; protections for patients with pre-existing conditions; an expansion of health savings accounts; allowing insurers to sell across state lines; and individual tax credits to help defray consumer costs. While discussing Medicaid, Trump employed language similar to that in Congressional leadership proposals to shift to a block grant or per capita cap system, notes Virgil Dickson of Modern Healthcare.
Medical malpractice bill clears Judiciary Committee
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on February 28 that would cap damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill would protect doctors, hospitals and nursing homes that treat patients insured under federal programs like Medicare, Medicaid, veteran or military health plans and ACA health plans. The law also provides protections for pharmaceutical companies in cases where a patient experiences negative effects from a FDA-approved drug, writes Sheila Kaplan of STAT News.
User fee hearings start tomorrow
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on the user fee programs for generic and biosimilar drugs. The hearing is part of the process to reauthorize FDA user fees, which occurs every five years. The reauthorization has not been approved as quickly as in the past because the FDA bill has been overshadowed by ACA repeal efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith, Judi Hasson and Brett Norman at Politico have the story.
Governors’ plan for Medicaid
Republican governors are developing recommendations to Congress on Medicaid reform. The governors’ plan includes eventually transitioning to block grants or per capita caps for states that chose to expand Medicaid and still wish to receive the extra federal funds. For states that do want to switch to a block grant or capped model, enrollees up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line would be covered under the existing federal match. The governors are seeking flexibility within the budget and want to avoid the loss of health coverage. David Nather at Axios reports.