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Campaign Cash Follows GOP Senator Who May Be Drug-Price Firewall

Pharmaceutical industry political action committees gave more to John Barrasso than to any other senator in the recent election, even though his committee assignments won’t put him in a particularly good place to drive health policy.

But Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will be the third-highest ranking senator, Republican Conference chairman, in January and those donations could end up paying off for drug companies in the new Congress.

Trump Team Back to Drawing Board on Health Care After Midterms

The Trump administration, undeterred by the Republicans’ loss of their House majority in the midterm elections, wants to resume chipping away at Obamacare in the coming year.

Key Democrats Are Selling Medicare Buy-in Over Medicare for All

Before they consider giving Medicare to all Americans, an influential crop of Democrats will push to let some buy into the public health insurance for seniors.

The push to create what is known as a Medicare buy-in program is slated to come from Democrats in both the House and Senate with seats on key panels early in the year.

Republican Senators’ Fight Holding Up Drug and Pandemic Bills

Two Republican senators are blocking health-care legislation each had hoped to pass in the end-of-year lame duck session of Congress, in an unusual intraparty feud,

Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have placed holds on each other’s bills and are in a standoff that might result in neither bill being passed.

Medicare for All Tough Pill for Many House Democrats to Swallow

Newly elected House Democrats who ran on a single-payer health insurance platform will find their campaign promise easier to make than to keep. While the “Medicare for All” battle cry caught fire with progressive voters in safely Democratic districts, only 3 percent of Democrats who ousted Republicans in competitive districts supported universal, single-payer health care.

Proposed FDA Restrictions on E-Cigarettes Spark Lobbying

Companies that make e-cigarettes are waging a charm offensive as the federal government moves to crack down on their products, deploying lobbyists to convince policymakers they are capable of policing themselves.

Leading e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. has five firms on retainer and three in-house lobbyists.

Veterans’ Health Program Price Tag Still Unknown, Say Lawmakers

Lawmakers say the Trump administration has kept them in the dark about the cost of a new law on veterans’ health care, a looming long-term expenditure that could complicate future budget negotiations.

The VA MISSION Act (Public Law 115-182) aims to give veterans more flexibility to seek subsidized health care at private facilities outside the Department of Veterans Affairs

Every State a Winner as Senate Moves Medical Research Billions

A gusher of federal money for states to boost research into diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to cancer would flow under a fiscal 2019 spending package that the Senate is seeking to pass tomorrow.

The $875 billion spending “minibus” (H.R. 6157) bundles spending for defense, labor, health and human services and education. The medical research funds, while a relatively small portion of the measure compared with the Pentagon’s share, offer the prospect of well paying health-care jobs in the states of senators of both parties.

CMS Soliciting $25 Billion Quality Improvement Contract

The contract, known as Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors, or NQIIC, will rely on data analytics to improve the quality of health-care decisions by patients, families, and clinicians, according to the draft statement of work.

Familiar Faces May Top VA List of Options as Surprise Pick Quits

President Donald Trump may turn to a short list of department insiders, health industry leaders, and government officials in his hunt for a new Veterans Affairs secretary, after his first choice withdrew his nomination.