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ML Strategies Health Care Preview Week of September 10th

With the first wave of Kavanaugh confirmation drama complete, the Senate is expected to vote on an opioid package this week. It’s a noteworthy step for the Senate although it’s still not entirely clear what a final package will look like. Both sides can declare victory going into the election without the bill becoming law. Time will tell if a final package can be completed in lame duck.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee is still hard at work looking ahead at issues that should be of interest to both parties moving forward. This week, the Health subcommittee will be looking at ways to remove barriers to value-based care in Medicare, which could mean changes to Stark or anti-kickback statute. They will also examine maternal mortality, where the U.S. has become one of the worst in the developed world for maternal death rates.

Also on the House side, negotiations on appropriations are moving right along. This week, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 5895, which includes three of 12 regular FY 2019 appropriations bills. While the LaborHHS-Education is still being worked out among the top lawmakers of jurisdiction, conversations are reportedly heading in the right direction. Congress has roughly seven working days with both chambers in session until the September 30 funding deadline.

We continue to monitor the potential for a government shutdown but it seems that, for now, those in the room see a path to the President’s desk that avoids shutting down the government. For now.

Obama on Medicare for All

Last week, you might’ve caught President Obama praising Democrats for running on good, new ideas like Medicare for All. While Obama stopped short of embracing the policy, his signaling on the issue is significant for the dozens of House candidates and the direction of Democrats on health care, especially as we move towards the November midterm elections.

With Republicans intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act and Democrats continuing to push left on Medicare for All, there is very little political room for those interested in shoring up the law for the long-term. Rather ironic given that the ACA appears to be as stable as it has been since implementation began.

What does this mean for stakeholders as we look to 2019 and beyond? Uncertainty. But understanding what policymakers mean when they say repeal, or Medicare for All, is critical for staying ahead of the curve.

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About this Author

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...

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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.

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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...

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