Julio Cortez / AP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will release the final payment rates and policies for 2018 Medicare Advantage plans after the stock markets close on Monday. Here's what to watch for:

  • Whether the government will increase rates beyond what was proposed in February.
  • Whether there will be more drastic policy adjustments to appease the health insurers that sell Medicare Advantage plans.
  • One example: look to see how the government handles Medicare Advantage plans that are sponsored by employers. Republicans and insurers want the feds to roll back a provision that sets rates for those employer plans administratively.

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee this week asked CMS Administrator Seema Verma for a handful of changes, including those to employer Medicare Advantage plans.

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Trump pushes back on changes to upcoming presidential debates

Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump suggested Thursday that he'll resist any moves that could cut off candidates' microphones in the next debate if he continues to talk over his opponent and the moderator.

  • "Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?" he tweeted.

The big picture: White House and campaign officials insist Trump is still committed to two remaining debates, despite fallout from Tuesday including poor reviews and discussions of new guardrails.

Health officials urge flu shots, warning of "twindemic" with COVID-19

Data: NFID survey, Aug. 17-19, 2020; Note: Margin of error for the total survey is ±4.4%; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans need to prioritize getting their influenza vaccine now, public health officials warned Thursday.

Why it matters: The seasonal flu combined with the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a "twindemic" with increased chances of co-infections and an overwhelmed health system. Because symptoms are similar and diagnostics aren't fast, people can best mitigate their risks with the flu shot plus social distancing and mask-wearing this fall and winter.

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House prepares to pass revised COVID relief bill as White House talks hit roadblock

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House is planning to move ahead Thursday with Democrats' revised $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill as 11th-hour negotiations with the White House continue.

The latest: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone at 1 p.m., following a 90-minute meeting on Capitol Hill Wednesday — the first in-person meeting between the two since August, when negotiations stalled. The two plan to speak again later this afternoon, according to a Pelosi aide.