February 18, 2019

February 18, 2019

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ML Strategies Health Care Preview WEEK OF JANUARY 22, 2019

The partial government shutdown is on its 31st day and there’s been little to no change in the landscape. Over the weekend, the President offered a proposal that was rejected by Democrats, leaving us about where we were last week. Just about all legislation that could pass Congress is on hold as this plays out, with federal workers expected to miss out on another paycheck this week. There’s no telling where this will end so long as both sides remain resolute. But the question remains if Democrats will not accept any proposal other than immediately re-opening the government, will Republicans concede or pressure Democrats to concede any ground.

The shutdown also slows down the regulatory process, creating a log jam of regulations in the pipeline. However, there are a number of regulations that must get out on time. Just last week CMS released the proposed 2020 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which sets the requirements for the 2020 ACA marketplaces. While much of this will play out off of Capitol Hill, the rule does seek a legislative fix to cost-sharing reductions payments, as well as an end to silver loading.

As for other happenings on Capitol Hill, we will get our first taste next week with hearings in the House and Senate. The Senate HELP Committee will focus in on Community Health Centers, which funding will need to be reauthorized before the end of the fiscal year. The House Energy & Commerce (E&C) Committee is expected to hold hearings on the Texas v. Azar decision as well as market stabilization efforts. And the House Oversight Committee is expected to hold a hearing on drug pricing. 

Medicaid Work Requirements

We can expect to see the E&C Committee examine Medicaid work requirements at some point this year as Arizona becomes the eighth state to incorporate work requirements into its Medicaid program. Arizona tried a number of creative workarounds, although some were rejected by CMS.

Arkansas is the only state where work requirements have taken effect, although New Hampshire and Kentucky are not far behind. The five other states – Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin – will begin enforcing work requirements later in 2019 or soon after.

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About this Author

Rodney L. Whitlock, Mintz Levin, ML Startegies, Health Policy Advisor, Washington DC
ML Strategies - Vice President

Rodney is a veteran health care policy professional with more than 20 years of experience working with the US Congress, where he served as health policy advisor and as Acting Health Policy Director for Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and, earlier, on the staff of former US Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia.

During his years with Representative Norwood, Rodney managed the Patients’ Bill of Rights, which passed the House in 1999 and 2001. In February 2005, Rodney left the office of Congressman Norwood to join the Finance...

Katie Weider, Mintz Levin Law Firm, New York, Health Care Policy Director
Director of Health Policy

Katie provides advice and guidance on issues relating to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Marketplace.

Prior to joining ML Strategies, Katie was a senior analyst with the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), a nonpartisan agency that provides Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and states with analysis and recommendations on issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There Katie researched, developed, and prepared Medicaid policy recommendations; conducted legislative, data, and policy analyses related to a host of Medicaid and Medicare issues; and provided policy analyses and technical assistance for Congressional staff on draft bills and policy questions, among many other duties.


In her work at ML Strategies Katie helps navigate complex legislative, regulatory, and executive actions relating to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Marketplace. She helps clients determine the effects of state and federal action on client business models and helps clients develop comprehensive strategies. 


While earning her master’s degree in public health, Katie worked at the George Washington University leading the evaluation of HRSA’s Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program and also worked in the office of Senator Charles Grassley.

Manager of Government Relations

Prior to joining ML Strategies, Eli was a legislative correspondent for US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), where his experience included health care, education, child welfare, social security, food assistance, and poverty issues specifically as they relate to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Social Security. Previously, Eli served as a legislative intern with Senator Heinrich. He also served as a legislative intern with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), where he worked on issues related to education, health, and commerce. Eli has also served as an intern at a political...