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Monthly Archives: June 2017

U.S. Senate Picks up Pace with Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed—by a very narrow margin—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R.1628) a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act as well as a major rewrite of the Medicaid program. Now the focus turns to the U.S. Senate. Though many Senators initially expressed deep concerns with the AHCA’s provisions, there are strong indications that the chamber is moving forward through a similarly rushed, secretive process and making only minor changes to the bill.

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House Committee Approves Sense of Congress Resolution to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

This week, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky led an amendment “Sense of Congress” resolution identifying the cost of prescription drugs as a national problem and calling on the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to engage with the House of Representatives and the Senate to take administrative actions and enact legislative changes to lower the cost of prescription drugs for consumers and reduce the burden of that cost on taxpayers in a way that will balance the need to encourage innovation with the need to increase affordability. The sense-of-Congress amendment was successfully adopted during a hearing of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce marking up pending, bipartisan legislation earlier this week.

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IMPORTANT: Tell Your Senators to Abandon the American Health Care Act

Senate leaders are reportedly rushing forward to vote on a secret health plan, and they’re starting with the policies in the American Health Care Act, a destructive bill passed by the House of Representatives last month. Stand with the American people, who overwhelmingly reject the policies in the American Health Care Act. Tell your Senator to abandon the bill once and for all.

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BENES Act Reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

Congressmen Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA.) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) recently reintroduced the bipartisan Beneficiary Enrollment Notice and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575)—an act applauded by Medicare Rights. The BENES Act simplifies Part B enrollment periods and requires the federal government to provide advance notification to people approaching Medicare eligibility about enrollment rules and how Medicare works with other coverage.

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Commonwealth Fund Explains Who Benefits from Health Savings Accounts

Many recent pieces of proposed legislation, including the American Health Care Act (H.R.1628), would extend the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), a tax-free account that can be used to pay for specific medical expenses. But are HSAs equally valuable to people across all economic levels? The Commonwealth Fund tackles this question by looking at what HSAs are, how they work, who uses them, and who benefits if their use increases.

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