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Federal Relations


November 13, 2017

New Nominee to Lead HHS Named

The Trump Administration announced today that it intends to nominate Alex Azar as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Azar served at HHS under the George W. Bush Administration from 2001 to 2007, first as general counsel and deputy secretary.  He served in senior leadership roles at Lilly USA between 2007 and…

October 17, 2017

Marino Out as Drug Czar

A Washington Post/“60 Minutes” investigation, which aired this weekend, examined Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) efforts to guide legislation that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise. Marino was the Administration’s nominee for the position of Drug Czar. He has withdrawn his name from consideration. President Trump…

October 13, 2017

Administration to Cut Health Insurance Subsidies

Late Thursday, President Trump announced the Administration will no longer pay subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs of low-income people. These plans were disclosed hours after the President issued an executive action yesterday to change the nation’s insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers. The…

October 12, 2017

Executive Order on Health Care Issued

Today, President Donald Trump issued a presidential directive to broaden the development of business association health plans, ease restrictions on short-term medical insurance and expand employer health care reimbursement accounts. The memorandum starts the rulemaking process, which will forge the details of the plans’ requirements. The White House is attempting to expand access to health insurance policies…

October 5, 2017

New Deputy Secretary at HHS

Eric Hargan was officially confirmed by the Senate on a 57-38 vote yesterday afternoon. Hargan’s confirmation comes at a crucial time for HHS, which has relied on career staffer Don Wright to lead the agency since Tom Price resigned as secretary on Friday. Secretary Price’s recent exit helped accelerate the consideration of HHS nominees. Hargan will…

October 2, 2017

Graham-Cassidy Still Getting Scored

Despite not moving forward with consideration, the Congressional Budget Office is still expected score the Graham-Cassidy legislation on potential impact. Stay tuned.

July 28, 2017

Healthcare Pulled from Senate Floor as “Skinny Repeal” Fails

In a dramatic vote late last night/early this morning, the Senate defeated by a vote of 49-51 the “skinny” repeal bill. In the end, Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were joined by John McCain in siding with the Democrats to bring down the bill.  It was McCain who cast the deciding vote. It was…

July 27, 2017

Straight Repeal Fails, More Votes Expected During a Long Day

After defeating a repeal-and-replace measure during the first day of debate, the Senate turned down yesterday a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 45- 54. A myriad of alternatives and amendments are expected to be voted on as the Senate continues its consideration, including a “skinny” repeal, the details of which are…

July 26, 2017

Senate Starts Debate on Healthcare Legislation

After agreeing to start debate on healthcare yesterday by a vote of 51-50, a vote on which Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, the Senate turned back the first option it considered by a vote of 43-57, with nine Republicans joining all 48 Democrats to oppose the measure. According to the rules governing this…

July 25, 2017

Senate to Vote on “Motion to Proceed” as McCain Returns to Washington

The Senate Republican leadership has decided to schedule a vote on a “motion to proceed” on the healthcare legislation for later this afternoon.  Many observers view the decision by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to return to Washington to vote as a positive sign for those pushing to start debate on a healthcare bill.  However, the…

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