MARCH 3: It’s Super Tuesday. Voters in 14 states and one U.S. territory head to the polls. What’s at stake? Oh, just 1,357 delegates for Democratic presidential hopefuls; 1,991 are needed to win the nomination. Healthcare is a pivotal issue in several of the battleground states. Politics and policy reporter Rachel Cohrs breaks down how candidates have been talking about healthcare thus far, including whether attacks on Medicare for All are creating an opening for President Donald Trump.
MARCH 3-4: Lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill will delve into the country’s readiness to protect citizens from COVID-19. First it’s the Senate health committee on Tuesday followed by the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. Multiple reports last week said that all messaging on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus is being run through the White House. Meanwhile, healthcare groups are asking for federal funding to support preparedness efforts.
MARCH 4: The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a closely watched abortion case, June Medical Services v. Russo. At issue is a Louisiana law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It is nearly identical to a Texas law SCOTUS struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt four years ago. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy provided the deciding fifth vote. Kennedy has since retired and been replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
MARCH 5-6: The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission holds its monthly meeting. Some highlights from the published agenda: assessing vulnerabilities in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, understanding the role of specialists in alternative payment models and accountable care organizations, redesigning Medicare Advantage’s quality bonus program, and improving Medicare’s end-stage renal disease prospective payment system. Look for an analysis of MedPAC’s recommendations from our rules and regulations reporter Michael Brady.