Wynne Health In Print

What to Expect in Health Policy Under a Divided Congress

The 2018 midterm elections were powered by a “blue wave” that flipped control of the House of Representatives from the GOP to the Democrats but left the Senate in Republican hands, meaning the two chambers of Congress will be divided at least until 2020. In the Senate, Republicans have a 53 to 47 majority and will continue to be led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, while House Democrats gained a 235 to 199 majority....
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What the 2018 Midterm Elections Means for Health Care

The fundamental shift in the balance of power in Washington will have substantial implications for health care policymaking over the next two years. In this post, I’ll take a look at which health care issues will come to the fore of the Federal agenda due to the outcome Tuesday, as well as state expansion decisions. And it should of course be noted that, in addition to positive changes Democrats are likely to pursue over the next two years, House control will allow them to block legislation they oppose, notably further GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)....
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The 660-Page Opioids Bill Is Now the Law. Here’s What’s in It.

Opioids killed an estimated 49,000 Americans in 2017, including nearly 2,200 Californians. They harmed many more, including children forced into the foster care system, babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, young adults who overdosed from dangerous new street drugs like fentanyl, and countless others who became addicted to opioids while trying to manage chronic pain....
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Immigrants and the New Proposed “Public Charge” Rule

On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the text of highly anticipated proposed changes to “public charge” rules that could disqualify many immigrants from gaining permanent residency in the US. Public charge is the determination that evaluates whether someone is likely to become reliant on public benefits, and consequently whether he or she may enter the country or modify his or her immigration status to become a permanent resident (a “green card” holder). ...
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Creating Medicare Advantage Premium Support For All, Part 5: Which Proposal Is Actually Medicare?

With the burgeoning debate around single payer, primarily oriented around "Medicare for All," CEO Billy Wynne takes a look under the hood of Sen. Bernie Sanders' "M4All" proposal and discovers it is not actually based on Medicare. He also continues his inquiry into what bona fide Medicare for All would actually look like, in this case by explaining the basics of the Medicare Advantage program, which covers 33% of Medicare enrollees this year....
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What Might Happen in Federal Health Policy Before the Midterm Elections

An in-depth guide to the key health policy issues that will dominate DC through the midterm elections....
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Here’s What the House Passed to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

A breakdown of all of the key provisions in the House-passed opioid package. From the intro: "After months of debate, the US House of Representatives passed a package of bills on June 22 addressing the opioid epidemic by a vote of 396 to 14. H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT), incorporates dozens of House bills. ...
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Medicare’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule: Big Changes For 2019

CEO Billy Wynne's breakdown of the key policy changes described in the CY19 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule....
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Creating Medicare Advantage Premium Support For All, Part 4: Financing

In this fourth installment of his Medicare Advantage Premium Support for All series, CEO Billy Wynne demonstrate that this universal coverage approach can be fully funded with current spending (i.e., no new taxes would be necessary). ...
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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Medicare Advantage’s Newfound Supplemental Benefit Flexibility

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made a series of interrelated policy changes to give Medicare Advantage (MA) plans more flexibility than ever to offer additional services outside of traditional Medicare. Known as supplemental benefits, these services have historically included items like dental, vision, and hearing. By allowing plans to offer an even wider and more tailored array of services, CMS expects that plans will be better positioned to attract members and meet beneficiary needs. ...
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“Public Charge” Rule Would Disrupt Safety-Net Access for Some Immigrants

The Trump administration has signaled its plans to significantly alter the rule on eligibility of applicants for permanent residency and applicants intending to immigrate to the US by redefining “public charge” determinations related to the use of public benefits. This would make it harder to enter the country and reduce access to a broad range of health and human service safety-net programs for immigrants already living here, including US citizen children. ...
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The Consumerization Of Health Care To Improve Value: Secretary Alex Azar’s “Radical” Vision

HHS Secretary Alex Azar recently laid out a four-part strategy to achieve a "radical" vision of reforming health care: giving consumers greater control over health information, encouraging price transparency, using experimental models in Medicare and Medicaid to drive value, and removing government burdens. While certain elements of the secretary’s strategy reflect important reforms, his recommendations raise questions about the desirability of a shift toward consumerization of health care and whether these changes are actually in the best interest of consumers....
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