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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

White House Supports Surprise Medical Bills Plan, But That Doesn’t Mean It Will Be Smooth Sailing From Here On Out

KHN Morning Briefing

Efforts to address surprise medical bills had stalled until a bipartisan agreement emerged over this past weekend. The White House praised lawmakers’ “delicate work” to reach a deal, which is a compromise between two other strategies for dealing with the costs. But even with the White House’s support, question marks remain about whether the deal can be pushed through both chambers and sent to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.

Lawmakers Push For Independent Dispute Resolution Option For Dealing With Surprise Medical Bills

KHN Morning Briefing

The method that Reps. Joe Morelle, (D-N.Y.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) and Van Taylor (R-Texas) are trying to build support for is favored by many providers. Although many lawmakers want to address the issue of surprise medical bills, debate has raged over who gets stuck with the cost at the end of the day. Other news on health care costs focuses on: expensive emergency room visits, value-based care, hospital closures, and more.

Biden Uses Health Care To Take Jabs At Rivals Warren, Buttigieg In Iowa

KHN Morning Briefing

Former Vice President Joe Biden says that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan is out of step with what Democrats want and that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is riding the coattails of Biden’s public option proposal. Buttigieg pushed back on the accusations.

Increasingly Bitter Personal Rivalry Between Azar And Verma Threatens To Derail Administration’s Health Goals

KHN Morning Briefing

Politico reports on the escalating feud between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma and the disruptions people close to the situation say it has caused. Privately, Azar’s and Verma’s camps are pointing the finger at one another, and disclosures about Verma’s use of highly paid consultants to raise her personal profile exacerbated the tensions.

Trump Will Release Plan To Allow States To Import Drugs; Pharma And Canada Both Remain Unhappy About Proposal

KHN Morning Briefing

“We will soon be putting more options on the table…” President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday. But it’s unclear how or if the proposal differs from one outlined this summer. Both drug companies and Canada — where the drugs would supposedly come from — oppose the idea. In other pharmaceutical news: Trump backs off from Medicare negotiation pledge, Novartis bets on heart drugs, an experimental dengue vaccine looks promising, and more.

A ‘Public Option’ Used To Be So Controversial It Was Dropped From ACA. In Era Of ‘Medicare For All’ It’s Regained Appeal.

KHN Morning Briefing

A so-called “public option” would allow people to buy a government-run health plan that competes with the private marketplace. In previous years, the policy was considered extreme, while now it’s starting to sound like the moderate option in the current political landscape. Meanwhile, Politico takes a look at the army being built to fight “Medicare for All.”