Happy Monday! If you're in D.C., I hope you had a fun and safe snow weekend.
Situation awareness: A federal court in California has blocked the Trump administration's birth control coverage rules from going into effect today in more than a dozen states.
The Trump administration is considering giving states the ability to receive Medicaid block grants, Politico reported on Friday, immediately raising the question of whether such a move is legal.
The basic idea being reported (The Hill has confirmed it as well) is that states would have the option — likely through the existing "1115" waiver program — to trade a cap on federal Medicaid dollars for additional flexibility in how they run the program.
Be smart: Regardless of how the details shake out, this would be vastly different from what the GOP included in its 2017 repeal and replace legislation, beginning with the very fact that it would be optional.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
New Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley doesn't currently have any specific drug companies or actions he wants to look into, but is planning on holding broader oversight hearings into drug prices.
What he's saying: In an interview with my colleague Jonathan Swan and me, Grassley made clear he is no radical when it comes to pharma.
What they're saying: "It's great to see these proposals from Senator Grassley.... But do not mistake them for serious reforms to the underlying drivers of the drug pricing problem," tweeted Rachel Sachs, a Washington University law professor.
Yes, but: The 2020 election is already here and drug prices are a hot topic. Grassley "may very well feel encouraged to do more than he's already planning given the likely political environment over the next 20 months," said Alex Conant, a GOP strategist.
Fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings are nigh. UnitedHealth Group, per usual, will kick things off on Tuesday, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
By the numbers: Health care companies reported a 7.7% net profit margin in the third quarter, equaling more than $50 billion of global profit — the most profitable quarter of the year for the industry and an especially lucrative quarter for pharma companies. It’s likely Q4 numbers will be even higher.
Follow along: Our health care earnings tracker is up-to-date with Q4 release dates and six quarters of data. We will be updating it every day over the next month as new data come in.
There's growing concern that biologic manufacturers are attempting to stall competition from biosimilars, according to 2 reports last week.
And Samsung is having a tough time breaking into the market, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Why it matters: Biosimilars are expected to save the U.S. health care system between $54 billion and $200 billion over 1o years, WaPo reported.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy what's left of the snow before it all begins again this week. Tips and feedback are always appreciated — you can find me at email@example.com.