Good morning ... Apparently the new superhero movie has a character named Thanos, but every time I see a reference to it, my brain changes it to “Theranos.” Which actually sounds like a much more interesting movie.
VA headquarters. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The most obvious problem at the Veterans Affairs Department is that it doesn’t have a secretary. But that leadership vacuum only compounds the deeper issues the VA has spent years trying to overcome, Caitlin Owens reports.
The big picture: The VA is the second-largest federal agency, with a huge annual budget, and it’s also at the center of a heated political debate. But advocates generally agree about what its needs are:
Go deeper: Caitlin has more at Axios.com.
Late Friday, Medicare posted annual proposals outlining payments system for a slew of health care facilities. Bob Herman took a glance and had this breakdown of how much money certain groups will get next year.
Keep in mind: These are proposals and will be heavily lobbied, so things could change by the time the rules are finalized in August.
Rep. Raul Labrador, who's running in the Republican primary for Idaho governor, says he might be willing to stop the state from expanding Medicaid even if voters approve the expansion in a ballot initiative this fall.
The details, as reported by the Idaho Spokesman-Review:
Why it matters: Ballot initiatives are one of the only tools left on the table in the states that haven't yet expanded Medicaid, but this is a reminder of the limits to that strategy.
The bottom line: This is a large victory for UnitedHealthcare, which terminated its contract with Envision and now has the upper hand in negotiating rates for Envision's health care services.
What's on your mind grapes? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.