The Biden administration released a diminished version of its proposed spending package, and several health care policies coveted by progressive Democrats — including drug price reform — are among the items that got cut. Critically, Medicare drug price negotiation is not included in the so-called “Build Back Better framework.” However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly was working on a last-ditch effort to include some drug-pricing provisions. The package would extend the expanded tax credits for Affordable Care Act exchange premiums, made available during the pandemic, to 2025, and Medicare would be expanded to include hearing benefits, but would not include vision or dental.

The annual Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Medicaid Budget Survey found that, in a majority of the 47 surveyed states, 75% or more of Medicaid enrollees are members of a managed care organization (MCO) run by a private carrier. KFF produced the survey with help from Health Management Associates and the National Association of Medicaid Directors. The survey also found enrollment in Medicaid MCOs has grown since the start of the pandemic, as has Medicaid enrollment as a whole. On balance, states added more benefits to Medicaid than they removed in 2021: “most states used Medicaid emergency authorities to temporarily adopt new benefits, adjust existing benefits, and/or waive prior authorization requirements,” KFF said.

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