Weekend update

Photo by Tomasz Filipek on Unsplash

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate continue to be engaged in Committee business and floor voting this week which should be a humdinger on Capitol Hill. The Wall Street Journal sums the situation up as follows:

Congress Heads Into Tumultuous Week Pressured by Converging Deadlines
Government shutdown, debt ceiling loom as Democratic leaders plan votes on multitrillion-dollar spending ambitions

The Supreme Court prepares for the opening of its October 2021 term on October 4. Amy Howe informs us

The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that oral arguments will follow a slightly different plan when the justices return to the courtroom for in-person arguments next month. Instead of reverting entirely to the traditional “free for all” format for asking questions, the justices will adopt a hybrid approach that sets aside time for the justices to take turns asking questions, just as they did when hearing oral arguments by telephone during the pandemic. The change appears to increase the chances that Justice Clarence Thomas, who was rarely heard in the courtroom but was an active participant in remote arguments, will continue to participate when in-person arguments resume.

How collegial.

We also can look forward to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury as well as OPM issuing the second big No Surprises Act interim final rule this week. The statutory deadline for releasing this rule concerning the independent dispute resolution process is Friday October 1.

From the Delta variant front

  • Both CVS Health and Walgreen’s have announced that their multitude of pharmacies are offering the Pfizer booster to all eligible folks.
  • If you noticed the articles recently reporting that the number of COVID-19 deaths in America exceeds the 1918 flu pandemic, check out this Health Affairs blog article from last April debunking this apples to oranges comparison.

In any event check out this Health Payer Intelligence article on three strategies for sustaining payer innovation momentum post-pandemic. “The coronavirus pandemic resulted in accelerated payer innovation and payers can continue that momentum by identifying opportunities, involving members, and using data effectively.”

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