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WASHINGTON — A federal judge promised to rule on hospitals’ efforts to block a looming Trump administration policy that will slash $1.6 billion in Medicare payments before the cut is set to take effect Jan. 1.

Judge Rudolph Contreras pledged to issue the speedy decision after American Hospital Association lawyers sparred for nearly two hours Thursday with government attorneys in the first public hearing on cuts to the so-called 340B program in a case before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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