July 9: Here comes the judge. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, although it very well may have been tweeted out ahead of time. While considerable attention will be paid to the new justice's stance on Roe v. Wade, the broader healthcare landscape could be altered if a case challenging the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality makes it to the Supreme Court (20 state attorneys general say the ACA lost its legal standing once Congress zeroed-out the tax penalty for the individual mandate). And who knows how far appeals involving Medicaid waivers will go.
July 10: Here comes the secretary (probably). The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee meets to vote on Robert Wilkie's nomination to head the VA. During a June 27 confirmation hearing, Wilkie promised senators that he would oppose efforts to privatize the VA, but cautioned that the phrase mischaracterized efforts being made to reform care delivery. Beyond implementing the Mission Act, which consolidates community care programs, Wilkie will be tasked with the massive upgrade of the VA's electronic health record system (see item below). If confirmed by the committee, Wilkie's name would move quickly to the full Senate. He was previously confirmed to head personnel and readiness at the Pentagon.
July 11: Here comes reform (maybe). The summer of 340B continues as the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health holds a hearing, “Opportunities to Improve the 340B Drug Pricing Program.” More than a dozen pieces of legislation may be considered, including defining “patient” specifically for the 340B program. Another bill would force HHS to implement reforms recommended by the Government Accountability Office.
July 12: Here comes the oversight. The House Veterans' Affairs Committee holds a business meeting to set up a new subcommittee with a singular purpose: keeping tabs on Cerner Corp.'s $10 billion contract to overhaul the VA's EHR system.