Commentary: Expanding Access to Alzheimer’s Treatment

Promising new medicines could soon be available to help patients fend against this disease. Government must ensure Medicare is able to cover them.

Approximately six million Americans are living with some form of Alzheimer’s, a number poised to double over the coming decades. Citizens are living 30 years longer than a century ago, primarily due to incredible advances in the field of medicine. Future opportunities are limitless if we foster an environment that rewards rather than discourages innovation. Unfortunately, that’s not what our leaders in Washington are doing.

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Top 10 Tough Votes Democrats Had to Take During Vote-a-Rama for Massive Spending Bill

During a “vote-a-rama” on their $739 billion reconciliation spending bill that has hundreds of billions for climate and health care programs, Democratic senators had to take a series of uncomfortable votes on hot-button issues — particularly tough for those representing swing states.

The bill, which also includes federal funding for 87,000 new IRS agents, passed on a party line vote 51-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

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Commentary: Reducing Patient Access to New Medications Is Progressives’ Latest Medicare Price Fixing Scheme

pharmacy

As negotiations on their tax and spending bill continue, Senate Democrats are working on a legislative proposal to have the government fix the prices of Medicare prescription medications.  Though the details of the 190-page amendment differ in certain respects from earlier versions, the indisputable result would be the same: Reduced patient access to prescription drugs.

Like most giant regulatory schemes, the draft proposal is characteristically complex with numerous provisions, including detailed data collection, new mandates, tax penalties on drug manufacturers, free vaccines, and a cap on out-of-pocket costs. But the heart of the bill is the creation of a Drug Price Negotiation Program administered by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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DOJ Charges Tennessee Man in Alleged $40 Million Medicare Scam

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday announced that it charged an Ashland doctor for allegedly scamming a more than $40 million from the Medicare system.

“John R. Manning, 61, faces charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and eight counts of health care fraud,” according to the DOJ. “The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation in which the United States seeks to recover all property, including a money judgement, that represents the proceeds of the violations.  Manning was arrested Tuesday at his home by federal agents.”

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Tennessee to Receive $5 Million in Settlement with Pharmaceutical Company

Tennessee will receive approximately $5 million from a settlement with pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt, according to a release from Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

In total, the company will be required to pay more than $233 million over the next seven years to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and the federal government.

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Postal Service Legislative ‘Fix’ Will Dump Workers on Medicare

A bill to “fix” the troubled United States Post Office (USPS) is on the verge of passage in the Senate but does it solve more problems than it creates? The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 3076 was scheduled for a vote earlier this month but was blocked by Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) on a procedural technicality.  “We can’t afford to add stress on our already enormous national debt with poor financial planning, which I think this bill absolutely does,” Scott said of the bill.

Now it’s back and on track for a vote in the Senate.

The biggest financial liability facing the USPS is the legal requirement to fund 75 years of retirement health benefits in advance for its workers. Congress has found a way around that by dumping the future postal workers on to Medicare.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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Commentary: Biden Needs to Decide If COVID Is Still a ‘National Emergency’

The omicron variant may be nearing its peak in some states, but across the country it’s produced a dizzying array of conflicting signals on whether the nation should remain under a COVID national emergency or move on to an endemic “new normal.”

Comedian Bill Maher’s “I don’t want to live in your mask-paranoid world anymore” monologue went viral last week, just days after the Atlantic, the standard-bearer journal for the liberal intelligentsia, ran a story headlined: “COVID Parenting Has Passed the Point of Absurdity.” Accompanying the article was a black-and-white photo of a woman frozen in a more desperate and primal state of panic than the subject of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Omicron, for most people without co-morbidities, produces much milder symptoms than do the coronavirus’s previous variants, but it’s far more infectious, racing through schools, shutting down classrooms and forcing parents to consult their district’s ever-shifting COVID “decision trees” on a seemingly daily basis.

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Liberal Supreme Court Justices Show Weak Grasp of Basic COVID-19 Facts

The liberal justices on the Supreme Court demonstrated a stunningly weak grasp of basic facts concerning the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, as they defended the Biden regime’s policies during oral arguments over vaccine mandates in the workplace.

The court heard separate oral arguments over federal vaccine mandates for employers with more than 100 employees, and for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Justice Stephen Breyer at one point seemed to suggest outrageously that the OSHA mandate would prevent 100 percent of daily US COVID cases. It is common knowledge now that the vaccinated people can still spread the disease.

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Owner of Telemedicine Company Pleads Guilty in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

A Kentucky telemedicine company owner pleaded guilty to health care fraud this week. The Department of Justice District Attorney’s office of the Middle District of Tennessee released in a statement that Elizabeth Turner worked with other marketers and physicians in locations including Tennessee and South Carolina to “offer, pay, solicit and receive illegal kickbacks and to defraud the Medicare and Medicaid Programs.”

Turner worked with Fadel Alshalabi, the owner of Crestar Labs, LLC, based in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Melissa Lynn “Lisa” Chastain, the owner of marketing company Genetix, LLC, located in Belton, South Carolina along with other physicians from approximately February 2018 to August 2019. 

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Facing Labor Shortages, Several Large Hospital Systems Drop Vaccine Mandates

Several large U.S. hospital systems have dropped their COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees in the wake of a U.S. district court’s temporary halt of the Biden regime’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

After months of protests, the mandate forced thousands of hospital employees to either resign, or be terminated because of their refusal to get vaccinated.

Louisiana-based federal Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction on November 30, blocking the federal government from mandating the experimental injections for workers at Medicare or Medicaid-funded healthcare facilities in 40 states.

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Lawsuits Challenging Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Mount, Likely Heading to U.S. Supreme Court

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the Biden administration over three different vaccine mandates targeting private employees, federal employees and healthcare workers serving Medicare and Medicaid patients.

But lawsuits filed by 27 states over the private sector mandate is setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in because they were filed directly in five federal courts of appeals.

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Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Opioid-Related Deaths

Ann McLane Kuster and Tim Emmer

Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN-06) introduced legislation to try and reduce opioid related deaths. Emmer, along with Representative Annie Kuster (R-NH-02), wrote the Inpatient Opioid Safety Act of 2021, which is “legislation to improve patient safety, simplify care, and reduce preventable opioid-induced injury and death under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

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Arizona Rep. Schweikert’s House Speech on Fraud, Spending, and Running Out of Money Goes Viral

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-AZ), known as the wonky numbers member of Congress, gave a speech on the House floor a few days ago about runaway spending in Congress that has gone viral with over 1.2 million views. It’s on Social Security and Medicare running out of money and how the U.S. is headed for a dystopian future if it’s not fixed. He addressed several myths and offered solutions.

He began saying he’s about to say some things most people don’t want to hear, “We call it math.” The biggest threat over the next couple decades facing the country is demographics. “Getting older isn’t Democrat or Republican, it’s going to happen to everyone.” But he says he’s been booed for telling people the truth. “You don’t raise money telling people the truth about what’s going on.” Referring to Congress, he said, “We live in a financial fantasy world in this place … there’s a fraud around here.” 

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Activists Confront Kyrsten Sinema in Airport, on Plane over Biden Agenda

Protesters and activists followed Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema through Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. and onto a plane Monday, pressing her on why she refuses to back parts of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

“I’m just trying to get an explanation for the American people,” Kunoor Ojha, chief of staff of the Green New Deal Network, asked Sinema as she followed the senator through the airport, video of the encounter shows.

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Commentary: After Disastrous September and 2022 Midterms Looming, Biden May Have Lost His Mandate to Govern

Following a catastrophic U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the highest inflation since 2008,pushing unpopular COVID vaccine mandates, rationing COVID treatments to red states and finally, watching his domestic legislative agenda falter in Congress, President Joe Biden is already upside down on his job approval ratings, according to the latest average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.com.

Reuters/Ipsos on Sept. 29-30 had Biden’s approval at 46 percent and disapproval at 50 percent.

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More Than 180 Minnesota Health Care Workers Sue over Vaccine Mandate

More than 180 Minnesota health care workers spanning statewide hospital systems filed a federal lawsuit over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, seeking an injunction to block the upcoming rule.

The lawsuit follows weeks after President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 employees and facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare. Defendants named include St. Mary’s Duluth, University Of Minnesota Physicians; Mayo Clinic; North Memorial Health Care; Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital; St. Luke’s Hospital Of Duluth; and Minneapolis Radiation Oncology.

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Commentary: BidenCare Blows ObamaCare Costs Out of the Water

PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” came from former President Barack Obama selling ObamaCare, his massive government takeover of healthcare. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” Obama said. That was a lie. Now President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) want to expand that lie through their $3.5 trillion federal spending blowout pending in Congress. 

Obama also said we could keep our doctors under ObamaCare. Obama lied to me and millions of other people. When I left a full-time job in 2013 for contract work, I switched to an ObamaCare exchange plan. And no, I didn’t get to keep my doctor on that new plan. I also saw the cost of my ObamaCare plan increase by double digit rates for 2014.

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President Biden Announces Vaccine Requirement for Nursing Home Employees

The Biden Administration announced Wednesday its plan to require nursing home employees across the country to receive the vaccination for COVID-19 in order to receive federal Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Given the fact that Florida is a common retirement destination for people across the country, it is responsible for almost 700 nursing homes out of more than 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. that will be affected by the mandate.

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Spring Hill Lab Owner Charged in Massive Medicare Fraud Scheme

Person in lab gear

Federal officials have charged the owner and chief executive of the Spring Hill-based Crestar Labs, with aiding and abetting and violation of the anti-kickback statute for allegedly orchestrating a fraudulent Medicare billing scheme. This scheme, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, related to genetic testing in cancer patients.

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Report: U.S. National Debt Closer to $123 Trillion, Nearly $796,000 Per Household

The U.S. national debt is closer to $123 trillion, more than four times what the Treasury Department is reporting, Chicago-based Truth in Accounting calculates in its new annual analysis of the nation’s finances.

The federal government has $5.95 trillion in assets and $129.06 trillion worth of bills resulting in a $123.11 trillion shortfall, or a debt burden of $796,000 per U.S. household.

Because of this massive amount of debt and repeatedly poor financial decisions made by lawmakers, TIA gave the U.S. government an “F” grade for its financial condition.

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Sen. Tim Kaine Discusses the $1.9T Relief Bill, His Lingering COVID Symptoms, Reflects on January 6th Capitol Breach

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) appeared on the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) Patients Come First podcast on Sunday. Kaine explained two upcoming financial relief packages, provided an update on Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and explained his Medicare-X Choice Act.

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Trump Administration to Announce Medicare, Medicaid Will Cover Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine According to Report

The Trump administration is expected to announce that the eventual coronavirus vaccine will be covered by Medicare and Medicaid, Politico reported late Monday.

The administration is expected to change a rule that previously prevented Medicare and Medicaid from covering vaccines that received emergency use authorization from the FDA. The official announcement is expected from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Politico.

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Commentary: Lowering the Cost of Prescription Medicines for Seniors Is Not Impossible

Earlier this year James Payne, a 73-year-old retired attorney in Utah, was so fed up with the high cost of a blood thinner medication he takes, he researched prices in Canada, where he found it was cheaper.

“Under Medicare, I am now paying $225 for a three-month supply,” Payne explained. “That’s $25 more than I was paying last year. Under my employer’s insurance I was only paying $20.” Payne says he is not sure why the costs are so much higher and continue to climb under Medicare, but he thinks there must be ways to make life-saving medications more affordable.

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Medicare to Ratchet up Enforcement Against Nursing Homes as Coronavirus Fatalities Exceed 25,000

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled enhanced enforcement actions on Monday against nursing homes after preliminary federal data shows that at least 25,923 nursing home residents across the country have died from coronavirus.

“This data, and anecdotal reports across the country, clearly show that nursing homes have been devastated by the virus,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield wrote in a letter to U.S. governors on Sunday.

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Franklin-Based Clinic Settles Allegations of Fraud with the Feds

The Franklin-based Rinova The Wellness Group, PC has settled the federal government’s allegations that Medicare overpaid the company for claims that were non-payable due to fraudulent misrepresentations.

This, according to a press release the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee released this week.

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Crom Carmichael: Democrats Want to Blame the Coronavirus’s Death Toll and Economic Problems Caused by the Virus on Trump

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast live from Music Row on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

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Retired Ohio Public Workers Receive Massive Cuts to Health Care Benefits Starting in 2022

Following a year in which stock markets posted healthy gains, the organization running Ohio’s public employee benefits is cutting back — a lot.

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State Sen. Dickerson, Others in Pain Management Business Sued By United States, Tennessee for Allegedly Committing $25M in Medicare, TennCare Fraud

  State Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-TN-20) is among those being sued by the federal government and Tennessee over alleged Medicare and TennCare fraud totaling at least $25 million. The United States and Tennessee on Monday filed a consolidated complaint in intervention alleging violations of the False Claims Act and the…

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Rep. Green Introduces Bill to Give Rural Hospitals More Flexibility

  U.S. Reps. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS-02) on Thursday introduced a new bipartisan bill to boost rural hospitals, Green said in a press release. The Rural Health Care Access Act of 2019 would repeal what Green called an arcane rule – “the 35-mile rule” – that…

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Trump Administration Ends Unions ‘Skimming’ $100 Million a Year from Medicaid

by Bethany Blankley   A final rule change has been implemented by the Trump administration to ensure that Medicaid providers receive complete payments as required by law. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Medicaid Provider Reassignment Regulation…

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Jury Convicts Comprehensive Pain Specialists’ John Davis in $4M Medicare Kickback Scheme

A federal jury in Nashville found the former CEO of a closed Tennessee pain management company guilty for his alleged role in a $4 million Medicare claim kickback scheme, U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee said in a press release. John Davis, 41, of Franklin, the…

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Federal Agency Approves Ohio Work Requirement for Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Ohio’s work rules for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicare Friday. Obamacare included a requirement that all 50 states expand Medicare eligibility to cover every individual whose income was up to 133 percent of the poverty line by January 1, 2014. In 2012, in a…

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Three Doctors in Congress Diagnose the Problems with ‘Medicare for All’

by Rob Bluey   Few issues have animated conservatives as much as Obamacare. But there’s a new threat on the horizon. It’s called Medicare for All – and it would be a massive government takeover of your health care. The Daily Signal spoke with three medical doctors who are serving…

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Nine Years After Obamacare Passed, Agency Finds Numbers Were Wildly Off

by Jarrett Stepman   Democrats defeated Republicans in the Obamacare repeal fight by warning that 22 million Americans would be thrown off their health insurance. They pointed to data leaked from the Congressional Budget Office. Well, it turns out that data was completely wrong. According to a report by the…

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Missouri Federal Grand Jury Indicts 14 in Home Health Care Scam

A fraud scheme perpetrated on taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid began to unravel with an anonymous tip alerting officials “that some Iraqis were fraudulently receiving home care services,” says a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report from earlier this month. Investigators examined billing records from several home health care companies that provide services to the…

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Incoming Members of Congress Want Medicare for All

Ocasio

by Evie Fordham   The House Medicare for All Caucus could count some new members when the 116th Congress convenes in January, although progressive candidates on the whole had a less than stellar performance on Election Day Tuesday. Democratic Rep.-elects Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Deb Haaland of New…

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Dr. Mark Green Commentary: Liability Reform a Major Area for Healthcare Savings

by State Senator Dr. Mark Green (R-Clarksville)   In my third and final op-ed on the healthcare crisis facing America, I’ll discuss the last major problem causing the crisis as well as a solution to address it. You can read part one here, and part two here. Liability reform is…

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Dr. Mark Green Commentary: ‘Cost Shifting’ Is a Major Contributor to the Healthcare Crisis Today

Mark Green FRC endorsement

by State Senator Dr. Mark Green (R-Clarksville)   The healthcare crisis in America is rightly one of the top issues on voters’ minds this election cycle. Unfortunately, missing from all the political rhetoric from most candidates is what is actually causing it. This is my second article in a three-part…

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Letter to the Editor: The Way to Lower Healthcare Costs Is to Support and Elect Candidates Who Will Apply Free Market Principles

doc nurse senior patient

Dear Tennessee Star, During the U.S. Senate debate I was glad to see Congressman Marsha Blackburn speak out against single payer healthcare. Being in the healthcare industry professionally since 1980 and now as a health consultant focused on health care legislation and helping companies and individuals navigate health care costs,…

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Bredesen’s Socialized Healthcare Plan Endangers Insurance, Medicare, Ad Says

Senate Leadership Fund on Tuesday launched a new advertising campaign discussing U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen’s support of single-payer health care, saying it “threatens our healthcare.” The $1.2 million buy will run statewide on a combination of broadcast and cable television, radio and digital.  It is available to watch here. Bredesen,…

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Republican Dave Joyce Releases Bizarre Campaign Ad Distancing Himself from Trump

David Joyce

In a risky political move, Rep. Dave Joyce recently tried to distance himself from President Trump in a congressional district that the president won by 12 percentage points in the 2016 Election. Joyce, who is seeking reelection in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, recently released an ad in which he touts…

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How Medicare’s Private Plans Surpass the Traditional Program

doc nurse senior patient

by Dr. Kevin Pham and Robert E. Moffit   Medicare Advantage, a system of competing private health plans, is surpassing the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program in delivering high quality, cost-effective medical care for senior and disabled citizens. The prominent research firm Avalere recently published a major study showing that Medicare Advantage generally outperformed traditional Medicare. This was especially so in caring for the most challenging patients who…

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President Trump Moves to Protect Home Care Workers from Union Shakedown

senior citizen health care

By Richard McCarty   The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has proposed rolling back an Obama-Era regulation that allowed union dues to be deducted from Medicaid checks. If the proposed regulation takes effect, only deductions specifically allowed by law,…

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Feds Freeze ‘Obamacare’ Payments; Premiums Likely to Rise

Obamacare

The Trump administration said Saturday it’s freezing payments under an “Obamacare” program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next year. At stake are billions in payments to insurers with sicker customers. In a weekend announcement, the Centers for Medicare…

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