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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Comments on the Trump administration's proposed rule requiring the disclosure of negotiated hospital prices reveal the ongoing battle between the hospital industry and patient advocates, Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: The industry is fiercely protective of negotiated rates and adamantly opposes the administration's proposal.

  • Hospitals say it creates an unrealistic burden and unfairly leaves insurers alone, per WSJ.
  • Patient advocates say price transparency gives patients more power when selecting care and would counteract industry price gouging.
  • Some experts and advocates for the proposal say hospitals' opposition alone suggests that the measure would successfully drive down prices for patients — which would cut into providers' profits.

Hospitals also argued in their comments that the rule would allow insurers to extract the same discounts obtained by their competitors, while giving less expensive hospitals leverage to demand higher rates.

  • Some critics asked that the rule be delayed for rural hospitals, as they don't have the resources to comply.
  • Others argued that patients care more about what they'll pay out of pocket than the negotiated price of care.

My thought bubble: These comments were predictable, but where the administration lands with the rule isn't. It's difficult to begin with to take on the hospital industry, but that's compounded by all the uncertainly regarding the proposal's effect.

Go deeper: Washington's favorite health policy isn't a silver bullet

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.