Midweek update

The U.S. House of Representatives this week has passed a series of healthcare related bills of interest to readers:

  • A bill to repeal the ACA’s anti-innovation medical device tax, which currently is suspended (H.R. 184).
  • A bill that would expand the availability and utility of health savings accounts (inside and outside the ACA’s heath insurance exchanges (H.R. 6311). The bill would permit federal employees over age 65 to continue to contribute to their FEHBP HSAs even though they are eligible for Medicare Part A. This bill also would extend the suspension of the ACA’s onerous health insurance tax from 2019 to 2021.
  • A bill that would override the ACA’s silly provision that prohibits health plans, health savings accounts or medical flexible spending accounts from reimbursing over the counter drugs unless a doctor had a issued a prescription for the purchase. The bill also would allow the accounts to reimburse menstrual products (H.R. 6199)
The bills now are passed off to the Senate for that body’s consideration.
In other news, according to the Hill, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services promulgated a final rule yesterday for the purpose of resuming risk adjustment payments under the Affordable Care Act in September. CMS suspended those payments earlier this month in the wake of a court order challenging the distribution methodology.

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