FEB. 18: More than 15,000 comments have been filed on HHS’ proposed Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations rule. Resulting from a 2018 executive order, the rule would free faith-based organizations from having to inform clients about services they don’t provide for religious reasons. It seeks to reverse an Obama-era rule, which required faith-based organizations to offer clients a referral to alternative providers. Our rules and regulations reporter, Michael Brady, is busy combing through the comment letters.
FEB. 19: The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee holds its monthly meeting. The panel last year suggested it would sharpen its focus on price transparency in 2020. Modern Healthcare technology reporter Jessica Kim Cohen will be listening in and reporting on any breaking news.
FEB. 21: During a private conference, Supreme Court justices will decide whether to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or let it return to a District Court judge for additional rulings. Democratic state attorneys general asked the high court to hear Texas v. Azar. The court last month rejected a request for an expedited review; the Democrats were hoping for a ruling before the November election. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 18 affirmed a federal judge’s ruling that the mandate requiring most people to purchase insurance is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit remanded the case back to the lower court to determine what other provisions of the healthcare law must fall with it.
FEB. 22: Healthcare may play a big role in the Nevada Democratic caucuses. The Culinary Union, which represents roughly 60,000 workers in the state, declined to endorse a candidate and is pushing back against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his Medicare for All proposal. “Workers should have the right to choose to keep the healthcare Culinary Union members have built, sacrificed, and went on strike for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days to protect,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer, said last week. The two sides have been engaged in a war of words, which is escalating after Sanders’ strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.