Politics Trump scores court win on hospital price transparency
Mnuchin says he'll have bipartisan discussions on oversight of PPP loans
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said that he will have discussions with lawmakers on a bipartisan basis about oversight of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) after Democrats blasted him for suggesting the names of loan recipients would not be released."I will be having discussions with the Senate @SmallBizCmte and others on a bipartisan basis to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight of #ppploans and appropriate protection of small business information," Mnuchin said on Twitter.
touted a "big victory" after a federal judge rejected the American Hospital Association's challenge to a Trump administration rule forcing them to disclose prices negotiated with insurers.
"BIG VICTORY for patients – Federal court UPHOLDS hospital price transparency," Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "Patients deserve to know the price of care BEFORE they enter the hospital. Because of my action, they will. This may very well be bigger than healthcare itself. Congratulations America!"
Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, granted the administration's motion for summary judgment on Tuesday, meaning it did not go to trial. The AHA said it will appeal.
Watchdogs express concern to lawmakers about ability to oversee coronavirus relief funds
Federal watchdogs expressed concern to lawmakers regarding a ruling by the Trump administration that they said limits their ability to oversee the distribution of $1 trillion in coronavirus relief funds. Inspectors general responsible for the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), wrote a letter to lawmakers last week regarding their concerns about an "ambiguity" in the CARES Act. The letter was released Monday by House Oversight Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).
The hospital industry argued that the rule will not help patients understand their out-of-pocket costs after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed the rule in 2019.
"We are disappointed in today’s decision in favor of the administration’s flawed proposal to mandate disclosure of privately negotiated rates," the AHA said in a. "It also imposes significant burdens on hospitals at a time when resources are stretched thin and need to be devoted to patient care. Hospitals and health systems have consistently supported efforts to provide patients with information about the costs of their medical care. This is not the right way to achieve this important goal."
Several pro-free-market groups filed ansupporting the administration in February. The founder of one of those groups, Cynthia Fisher of Patient Rights Advocate, said the rule will reduce "rampant price gouging."
"The judge's stinging rebuke of the hospital lobby's claim that posting prices violates their First Amendment rights and would confuse patients confirms what economists, patient advocates, and healthcare consumers have long argued: Real prices are the key to lowering America's devastating healthcare costs," Fisher said in a statement.
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