Weekend Update

The House and the Senate are resuming some Committee work this coming week. The Senate may be conducting floor votes but the House will not resume floor voting until next week. Wednesday November 11 is a federal holiday for Veterans’ Day.

Tuesday morning will feature the oral argument in the latest Affordable Care Act constitutionality case, California v. Texas (No. 19-840). The argument will proceed as follows beginning at 10 am:

  • 30 minutes for California, et al.,
  • 10 minutes for the U.S. House of Representatives,
  • 20 minutes for the Solicitor General, and
  • 20 minutes for Texas, et al. 

Of course, the FEHBlog will be listening to the oral argument and he will report his observations on Tuesday. The FEHBlog enjoys the live audio version of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments because the Justices ask questions in order of seniority following the Chief Justice. If you want to listen in too, here’s a link to C-SPAN website which will send you a reminder if you share your email address.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did fix their broken link to the 2021 Medicare premium and cost-sharing changes fact sheet over the weekend. Here’s an active link for your information.

Of course, the Federal Benefits Open Season begins tomorrow and runs through December 14. Good luck to all.

Kaiser Permanente released its third quarter 2020 financial results last Friday.

“Although the pandemic continues to have an impact on Kaiser Permanente, during the third quarter we safely resumed in-person preventive and elective care, started to address the backlog of deferred procedures that were put on hold due to COVID-19, and continued to leverage and grow virtual care for members’ safety and convenience,” said executive vice president and chief financial officer Kathy Lancaster.

NPR Shots offers a useful overview of COVID-19 cases and deaths similar to the CDC and it offers a preview of the Biden Administration’s approach to the pandemic.

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on Jan. 20, 2021,” Mr Biden said last night in a public address.

A Biden spokesperson told NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday that the coronavirus task force will be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. David Kessler, who led the Food and Drug Administration during the 1990s.

“We have to function as one nation. That means having a national plan,” Dr. Murthy, a key adviser to the Biden campaign, told NPR recently.