The Scoop: Work Visas, Prescription Drug Prices, Medicare Fraud, Hearing Aids

Senator Chuck Grassley
2017-04-22 07:16:34
<outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenGrassley/Scoop.jpg> About Grassley <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww grassley.senate.gov%2fabout&redir_log=928978509833256> Constituent Services <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww grassley.senate.gov%2fconstituents&redir_log=449195868256312> News Center <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww grassley.senate.gov%2fnews&redir_log=1069771078250> Contact Grassley <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww grassley.senate.gov%2fcontact&redir_log=704803046076271> Grassley Direct I spoke with <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fnews%2faudio%2fcapitol-hill-report-130&redir_log =969712645451453> Tom Williamson of KIIC Radio in Albia and Kyle Ocker of The Knoxville Journal Express about my inquiry into health insurers' gaming of Medicare Advantage, mental health care, the pending nominations of the secretary of Agriculture and the associate attorney general, my voting record and Veterans Affairs whistleblower protections. Q&A: Skilled Foreign Work Visas Q: What's happening with your efforts to improve the skilled foreign worker visa programs? Q: How would your bipartisan legislation fix what's broken? <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fnews%2fcommentary%2fqa-skilled-foreign-work-visa s&redir_log=277859701069546> Quick Links A health insurer reportedly is charging customers more for a brand name prescription drug than a generic drug when the insurer's own doctors explicitly prescribed the brand name drug for medical reasons. I wrote a letter <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fnews%252fnews-releases%252fgr assley-seeks-answers-reported-%2525E2%252580%25259Cbrand-penalty%2525E2% 252580%25259D-charged-patients-over-name-brand%26redir_log%3d26078068073 9994&redir_log=659987598472241> seeking answers from CareFirst <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fsites%252fdefault%252ffiles%2 52fconstituents%252f2017-04-17%252520CEG%252520to%252520CareFirst%252520 %252528Brand%252520Penalty%252529.pdf%26redir_log%3d280112895878804&redi r_log=374905799712073> on this practice. After an employee was charged with violating resident privacy on social media at a Florida assisted living facility, I sought an explanation <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fsites%252fdefault%252ffiles%2 52fconstituents%252f2017-03-28%252520CEG%252520to%252520Bristol%252520Co urt%252520Assisted%252520Living%252520Facility%252520%252528Social%25252 0Media%252520P....pdf%26redir_log%3d812542587491054&redir_log=8103481643 72360> . I'm evaluating the response <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fsites%2fdefault%2ffiles%2fconstituents%2f2017-04 -11%2520Bristol%2520Court%2520Assisted%2520Living%2520Facility%2520to%25 20CEG%2520%2528Social%2520Media%2520Policies%2529.pdf&redir_log=09778249 2541107> I received <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fnews%2fnews-releases%2fgrassley-receives-respons e-florida-assisted-living-facility-snapchat-incident&redir_log=416571214 671909> from the facility. This is just the latest incident to come to light. After I pressed on numerous such incidents around the country, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made clear <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.cms.gov%2fMedicare%2fProvider-Enrollment-and-Certification%2fSurveyCer tificationGenInfo%2fDownloads%2fSurvey-and-Cert-Letter-16-33.pdf&redir_l og=643822688949932> that social media exploitation is a prohibited form of abuse. After reports of a large psychiatric services company's inability to properly care for its patients, I sought answers <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fnews%252fnews-releases%252fgr assley-continues-inquiries-psychiatric-services-company-amid-reported-pr oblems%26redir_log%3d082081958508935&redir_log=195047318772134> from a government watchdog and an accrediting organization. This work continues as reports of new problems arise. I am continuing my inquiry <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fnews%252fnews-releases%252fgr assley-continues-oversight-medicare-advantage-payments-seeks-updates-ans wers%26redir_log%3d26682742273919&redir_log=487993814962113> into the Medicare Advantage program. The federal government is doing a poor job of monitoring insurers' gaming to boost their payments at taxpayer expense. I requested information <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.grassley.senate.gov%252fsites%252fdefault%252ffiles%2 52fconstituents%252f2017-04-17%252520CEG%252520to%252520CMS%252520%25252 8Risk%252520Score%252520Follow%252520Up%252529.pdf%26redir_log%3d7701142 56629818&redir_log=470598511652104> on what the agency in charge is doing to protect taxpayers. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults, yet hearing aids are too expensive for many people. There is growing support <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fnews%2fnews-releases%2fsupport-over-counter-hear ing-aids-grows-among-consumer-advocates-and-hearing&redir_log=9428632860 87896> for the bipartisan Over-the-Counter <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.warren.senate.gov%252ffiles%252fdocuments%252f3_21_17 _Hearing_Aids_Bill_Text.pdf%26redir_log%3d923454837344551&redir_log=7783 88376081733> Hearing Aid Act of 2017 <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fou treach.senate.gov%2fiqextranet%2fiqClickTrk.aspx%3f%26cid%3dSenGrassley% 26crop%3d14394.8945455.5534524.7338375%26report_id%3d%26redirect%3dhttps %253a%252f%252fwww.warren.senate.gov%252ffiles%252fdocuments%252f3_21_17 _Hearing_Aids_One_Pager.pdf%26redir_log%3d341257766113550&redir_log=4324 99406191731> I'm helping to lead. This bill will help with affordability. I have long advocated for reforms to EB-5 visa programs that address widespread fraud and national security vulnerabilities. I raised questions to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.grassley.senate.gov%2fsites%2fdefault%2ffiles%2fjudiciary%2fupload%2f2 017-04-20%2520CEG%2520to%2520DHS%2520%2528California%2520Investment%2520 Immigration%2520Fund%2520EB-5%2529.pdf&redir_log=850628783521015> after hearing about an elaborate EB-5 investor visa scheme <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww latimes.com%2flocal%2flanow%2fla-me-ln-green-card-fraud-20170405-story. html&redir_log=329635403435533> that allowed fraudsters to pocket $50 million from Chinese investors that should have gone to U.S. job-creating development projects. While the projects never materialized, more than 100 Chinese investors, including several Chinese fugitives, obtained visas. Post of the Week <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.instagram.com%2fp%2fBTAadc3AJkK%2f%3ftaken-by%3dsenatorchuckgrassley%2 6hl%3den&redir_log=066872107467557> Driving through eastern Iowa for county meetings on a beautiful spring night A photo posted by @senatorchuckgrassley <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.instagram.com%2fp%2fBTAadc3AJkK%2f%3ftaken-by%3dsenatorchuckgrassley%2 6hl%3den&redir_log=066872107467557> on April 17, 2017 Keep in Touch <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww grassley.senate.gov%2f&redir_log=241838329353218> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.facebook.com%2fgrassley&redir_log=42863616272236> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2ftw itter.com%2fchuckgrassley&redir_log=876009633785239> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fme dium.com%2f%40ChuckGrassley&redir_log=285082746902234> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.flickr.com%2fphotos%2fchuckgrassley&redir_log=664610148476310> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fin stagram.com%2fsenatorchuckgrassley%2f&redir_log=805584195472309> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx &crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fww w.youtube.com%2fuser%2fSenChuckGrassley&redir_log=206319985751321> Unsubscribe <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/EsurveyForm.aspx ey&__sid=100003&__crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002> Open a plain text version of this email <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/view_newsletter_setup.aspx _text=Y&link=SenGrassley%2501103787%2501100349%2b-%2b04-22-2017%2beNewsl etter%250114223.8965717.5533788.7038002%2501grassley%2540unityfeed.com%2 501Unity%2501Unity%2bFeed%2501Beverly%2bHills%252c%2bCA%2b90210%2501> Forward this email <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/view_newsletter_setup.aspx rd=Y&link=SenGrassley%2501103787%2501100349%2b-%2b04-22-2017%2beNewslett er%250114223.8965717.5533788.7038002%2501grassley%2540unityfeed.com%2501 Unity%2501Unity%2bFeed%2501Beverly%2bHills%252c%2bCA%2b90210%2501> Open in its own browser window <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/view_newsletter_setup.aspx SenGrassley%2501103787%2501100349%2b-%2b04-22-2017%2beNewsletter%2501142 23.8965717.5533788.7038002%2501grassley%2540unityfeed.com%2501Unity%2501 Unity%2bFeed%2501Beverly%2bHills%252c%2bCA%2b90210%2501> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenGrassley/iqtrk.gif crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenGrassley/iqtrk.gif crop=14223.8965717.5533788.7038002>

Grassley Direct

I spoke with Tom Williamson of KIIC Radio in Albia and Kyle Ocker of The Knoxville Journal Express about my inquiry into health insurers’ gaming of Medicare Advantage, mental health care, the pending nominations of the secretary of Agriculture and the associate attorney general, my voting record and Veterans Affairs whistleblower protections. 

Q&A: Skilled Foreign Work Visas

Q: What’s happening with your efforts to improve the skilled foreign worker visa programs? 
Q: How would your bipartisan legislation fix what’s broken?

Quick Links

A health insurer reportedly is charging customers more for a brand name prescription drug than a generic drug when the insurer’s own doctors explicitly prescribed the brand name drug for medical reasons. I wrote a letter seeking answers from CareFirst on this practice.

After an employee was charged with violating resident privacy on social media at a Florida assisted living facility, I sought an explanation. I'm evaluating the response I received from the facility. This is just the latest incident to come to light. After I pressed on numerous such incidents around the country, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made clear that social media exploitation is a prohibited form of abuse. 

After reports of a large psychiatric services company’s inability to properly care for its patients, I sought answers from a government watchdog and an accrediting organization. This work continues as reports of new problems arise.  

I am continuing my inquiry into the Medicare Advantage program. The federal government is doing a poor job of monitoring insurers’ gaming to boost their payments at taxpayer expense. I requested information on what the agency in charge is doing to protect taxpayers.  

Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults, yet hearing aids are too expensive for many people. There is growing support for the bipartisan Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 I’m helping to lead. This bill will help with affordability. 

I have long advocated for reforms to EB-5 visa programs that address widespread fraud and national security vulnerabilities. I raised questions to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly after hearing about an elaborate EB-5 investor visa scheme that allowed fraudsters to pocket $50 million from Chinese investors that should have gone to U.S. job-creating development projects. While the projects never materialized, more than 100 Chinese investors, including several Chinese fugitives, obtained visas. 

Post of the Week

 

Driving through eastern Iowa for county meetings on a beautiful spring night

A photo posted by @senatorchuckgrassley on April 17, 2017

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