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Zach Cahill and David White

Congress is out of session this week, and we are taking advantage of the slowdown in Washington to give you a thirty thousand foot view of a few healthcare reform ideas that are common to many Republican plans. Will these policies actually become law?  There is no certainty, but you should know how these reforms might work, and how they might impact you and your patients.

What to do with pre-existing conditions?

Zach Cahill and David White

Two House committees — Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means — plan to begin voting as early as Wednesday, March 8, or next week at the latest, on portions of their closely guarded legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  While we have seen start dates come and go, Hill sources believe the horses are loading into the gates.  House and Senate Republican leaders want to push the package through the House this month and hope the Senate can consider it by the early April congressional recess.

Zach Cahill and David White

This week House leadership publicly released the details of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the foundation of the GOP's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The AHCA was initially released to three committees—Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and the Workforce (review only). Ways and Means passed the legislation early on March 9 after a contentious 18-hour debate.  That afternoon, the Energy and Commerce Committee voted passed the bill, after 27 hours of continuous debate. Democrats were especially concerned that the bill had not yet been given a “price tag” by the Congressional Budget Office.

Zach Cahill and David White

Twenty-four million Americans will be left without health coverage if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is signed into law. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported this sobering number late Monday, March 13 – once again reshaping the landscape of the health care debate in Washington. 

Key Takeaways from CBO report

The CBO is a non-partisan organization whose primary mission is assessing the impact of legislation on the federal budget, debt, and deficits. Though it covered much more, the cost of changes to health insurance coverage was the most anticipated outcome of the report. The CBO estimated that repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate (the requirement that everyone have health insurance) could drop the number of patients in the individual market by 14 million in 2018. 

Zach Cahill and David White

This past week has been a rollercoaster as the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues. We expected a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) Thursday night, but at the time of publication, votes were postponed until Friday afternoon. Up until noon on Thursday, both President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan expected to hold a vote to repeal parts of the ACA and replace it with the AHCA on Thursday night; however, that vote did not materialize and many obstacles are still to be overcome.

Zach Cahill and David White

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, for now. When our last edition of Following the ACA was published last Friday, there was still a chance for a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). However, the Republican repeal/replace bill was pulled from the House floor Friday afternoon – an undeniable sign that the AHCA did not have enough Republican votes to pass through the House of Representatives.
In a press conference following the decision to pull the bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that “Obamacare is the law of the land” and that the House was moving on to tax reform. Over the past week leadership has hinted that they might revisit the ACA in the short term. However, the attitude of rank and file members, who killed the bill last week, has not changed. This leads us to believe that the remaking of the American health care system that we have been anticipating for weeks is, at least, indefinitely postponed.

Zach Cahill and David White

When we last wrote about efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on April 3rd, House Republicans pulled their bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), from the floor without a vote.  We wrote “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, for now.”  That remains true even after the vote Thursday, May 4, in which a new version of the AHCA passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213, one vote over the 216-majority threshold.  However, this bill’s future in the Senate is far from clear.  

Zach Cahill and David White

On Friday, February 10, Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) was confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 52 to 47 as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Few people will be more instrumental in shaping the Trump administration’s healthcare policies than Secretary Price. He will also play a key role in the administration’s dealings with Congress as it repeals, replaces, and/or repairs the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Zach Cahill and David White

Repeal and Replace is Dead…

Is a headline that has run many times over the past few months, but the current Republican healthcare reform effort was certainly dealt a serious, if not lethal, blow early Friday morning, July 28.

When debate opened in the Senate on Tuesday, July 25, no one knew what bills were being considered or what leadership had in mind for a final vote. Over the past 72 hours, three different bills were presented and defeated. At 1:30 am Friday, the Senate voted down a bill that would have repealed a few parts of the Affordable Care Act without replacing any of it – this was referred to as the “skinny” repeal bill.

Zach Cahill and Juanita Rogers

khi fluid_0.PNGFluid management is an area ripe for innovation that has a significant impact on the quality of life of people with kidney failure. The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) recently released a supplement to its Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy entitled Fostering Innovation in Fluid Management . This report provides guidance to spur innovation in fluid management devices and techniques. Similar to the original roadmap, this new report is built around patient preferences and provides details on design requirements, functional areas, and development timelines.