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Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse Festival

Hot Topics | October 1, 2021

Welcome to October, ladies and ghouls. This month Policy News from Goodfuse will be sharing the scariest stories to ever emerge from Washington, D.C. and the halls of the U.S. government.

We kick off the month by briefing you on STRATCOM 8888, the U.S. Strategic Command’s plan to combat a zombie invasion, which “was not actually designed as a joke.”  This 16-page unclassified government document addresses threats from various types of zombies including: Pathogenic Zombies, Radiation Zombies, Evil Magic Zombies and Chicken Zombies. According to the document, “although it sounds ridiculous…[the Chicken Zombie] is actually the only proven class of zombie that actually exists.

STRATCOM 8888 was not a Department of Defense April Fool’s joke, but you should know that the fictional scenario was created as a training exercise that would avoid a diplomatic incident by naming real-world countries as the antagonists in a mock wartime scenario.

Or perhaps STRATCOM 8888 isn’t a training exercise and the government really is planning for a zombie apocalypse. A spooky thought to ponder as you read this week’s round up of public policy news:

Drug pricing download

  • Several media outlets published scoops on the rapid developments in the debate on drug pricing reform:
    • The Senate Finance Committee is considering a policy that would exempt small biotech companies from drug pricing reforms. (STATfull text below)
    • The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance three bills that would ban pharmaceutical companies from using certain practices that raise drug prices and prevent competition. (Reuters)
    • The Washington Post analyzed how a handful of moderate House Democrats are imperiling the Biden administration’s plans to reform drug pricing. (The Washington Postfull text below)

 Healthcare spending on the chopping block

  • Ideological differences within the Democratic Party are forcing leaders to explore spending cuts to healthcare priorities in $3.5 billion reconciliation bill. Funding for long-term care services and plans to expand Medicaid are among the line items expected to face the heaviest cuts. (POLITICO, Axios)

White House sides with insurers

  • As part of the implementation of a new law preventing surprise medical bills, the Biden administration has sided with insurers over providers. At issue is how disputes over surprise medical bills are resolved. Independent mediators charged with resolving billing conflicts will be directed to “favor a payment metric related to providers’ existing contracts with insurers.” (STATfull text below)

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