February 11, 2021

Around the nation: Biden admin changes federal government's position in ACA case

Daily Briefing

    The Department of Justice on Wednesday changed its legal position in a Supreme Court case that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act, marking a reversal from the Trump administration, which had backed striking down the law, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Texas.

    • California: Eisenhower Health on Thursday announced that Martin Massiello will become the health system's new president and CEO, effective March 1. Massiello has served as COO of Eisenhower for the past 13 years and previously served as EVP and COO of Loyola University Health System. Massiello will succeed G. Aubrey Serfling, who is retiring as Eisenhower's president and CEO but will continue serving on the health system's board of governors (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/5).
    • District of Columbia: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday changed its legal position in a Supreme Court case that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), marking a reversal from the Trump administration, which had backed striking down the law. DOJ in a letter said it now sides with the defenders in the case and believes that the 2017 tax reform law does not render the individual mandate unconstitutional. Further, DOJ said if the mandate is deemed unconstitutional, it believes the provision is severable from the rest of the ACA, as the 2017 tax reform law removed the financial penalty for remaining uninsured without altering the rest of the law. Some legal experts said the move by DOJ was expected, as President Biden's administration has proposed several ways to bolster the ACA and Medicaid since taking office. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the case by the end of June (Lotven, Inside Health Policy, 2/10 [subscription required]; Minemyer, FierceHealthcare, 2/10).
    • Texas: Billionaire investor Mark Cuban's new generic drug business, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co., will build an $11 million drug manufacturing laboratory in Dallas. Cuban first announced the company in January, saying it will "provide radical transparency in how we price our drugs" and will aim to develop low-priced versions of high-priced generic drugs. Construction on the new 22,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to begin this month and end in 2022 (Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/9; Womack, Dallas Business Journal, 2/5).

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