U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. for the second time saved the Affordable Care Act, prevailing in the Supreme Court in Kingv. Burwell to preserve the law’s premium subsidies.
House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Nancy Pelosi surprised everyone by pushing through repeal of the hated sustainable-growth rate formula for Medicare physician payment, replacing it with a value-based system to take effect in 2019.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini bested Cigna Corp. CEO David Cordani in the contest to buy Humana, in a deal valued at $34.1 billion that still faces antitrust scrutiny.
Anthem CEO Joe Swedish succeeded in his bid to acquire Cigna Corp. in a deal valued at $54 billion and that kept him in the top job, though that deal also faces antitrust review.
Cerner Corp. CEO Neal Patterson and Leidos CEO Roger Krone led their consortium to win a $4.3 billion contract to serve the Military Health System’s 55 hospitals and 600 clinics.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered on the long-standing Republican promise to pass an ACA repeal bill by using the reconciliation process, which required only a majority in the Senate (though the president was set to veto the bill).
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton won overwhelming bipartisan House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill designed to speed development of new drugs and medical devices and boost NIH funding.
Govs. Mike Pence of Indiana, Bill Walker of Alaska and Steve Bullock of Montana all pushed through Medicaid expansion under the ACA.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and CMS acting Administrator Andy Slavitt led a glitch-free ACA sign-up process for 2015 with healthy enrollment growth. The 2016 enrollment process also was going smoothly at year-end.
Pharmaceutical companies raised prices and continued to rack up solid profits even as the clamor grew from providers, insurers, policymakers and patient advocacy groups for measures to curb drug prices.
The Advanced Medical Technology Association persuaded Congress to agree to freeze the ACA’s medical-device tax for two years.