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2018 OSHP Winter Newsletter Delegate Report
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Legislative Update


Legislative activity at the national level is heavily focused on repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The current bill proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA, has gained momentum following a failed attempt during the summer months. The Graham-Cassidy bill allows individual state control over federal dollars currently spent on marketplace subsidies and Medicaid expansion by distributing these dollars in the form of block grants. The bill proposes a per-capita Medicaid cap which would coexist with the block grant funding that is also capped. Though the bill’s supporters tout its emphasis on state flexibility, the rate of block funding growth would reportedly be unable to keep pace with the rate of rising healthcare costs. The Republican party is attempting to amass the 50 necessary votes before the September 30 budget reconciliation deadline. This deadline allows the Senate to pass healthcare bills with a simple majority vote. Thus, the fate of the Graham-Cassidy bill will be known very soon. In other news on the federal front, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has been working to enhance the availability of chronic care management (CCM) and transitional care management (TCM) services. The organization is developing the infrastructure for the provision of these services including aspects of reimbursement and the extent of supervision that will be necessary to be a provider. We’ll have to keep a close eye on these issues as they continue to unfold and what the resulting impact on the pharmacy profession will be. At the state level, communication with the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association is in the preliminary stages regarding the annual legislative agenda for the upcoming 2018 session.


ADDENDUM: After submitting the above update, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, canceled the Senate vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill on September 26th. Despite a Republican-controlled Senate with 52 seats, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) voiced opposition to the bill falling short of the needed 50-vote mark. 

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