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Congress

August 28, 2019 | Daily News

Republicans are pointing to the premium decreases in states with reinsurance programs established through the Affordable Care Act’s 1332 waivers as proof that working around the law’s mandates will lower prices, particularly for those ineligible for tax credits, while Democrats, who created the waivers, say efforts to boost the ACA must also help the lower income population.

August 27, 2019 | Daily News

Several Republican senators in tough re-election races haven’t been playing up the upper chamber’s accomplishments on drug-pricing over lawmakers’ August recess, analysts say, though the most impactful bill would save taxpayers more than $100 billion.

August 26, 2019 | Daily News

California has seen a significant increase in the number of in-network doctors since implementing its surprise billing legislation in 2016, according to a new study funded by America’s Health Insurance Plans.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

HHS’s long-awaited proposal to relax a strict privacy scheme protecting substance use records has renewed calls from both Senate and House lawmakers, including Energy & Commerce Republicans, to pass a bill going further than the proposed rule to fully align the scheme with the less-stringent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

House Ways & Means Democrats are scheduled to meet Sept. 10 and 11 to talk about drug pricing and surprise billing legislation, and the committee might even mark up a bill mid-month, but it’s unclear which measures might be marked up or what they might entail.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

A new group led by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is urging Congress to create additional incentives for drug and biologic makers to develop innovative antibiotics, starting with passage of the Medicare add-on payments included in the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms (DISARM) Act of 2019.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

A vaping product manufacturer and a newly formed trade association representing the vaping industry are asking a federal court in Mississippi to overturn FDA’s deeming rule so that the agency no longer has authority to regulate electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products, including e-cigarettes.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee ranking Democrat Gary Peters (MI) is concerned FDA doesn’t have the data it needs to mitigate drug shortages, which he says can drive up prices and hurt patients and hospitals.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) Thursday took a jab at rival presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for what he called a “retreat” on his Medicare for All stance after the Vermont senator released a labor platform clarifying that unions can still negotiate wrap-around coverage and maintain their clinics, and also ensuring that any employer savings go back to the workers.

August 23, 2019 | Daily News

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) Thursday took a jab at rival presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for what he called a “retreat” on his Medicare for All stance after the Vermont senator released a labor platform clarifying that unions can still negotiate wrap-around coverage and maintain their clinics, and also ensuring that any employer savings go back to the workers.

August 22, 2019 | Daily News

Democratic staff of the House Energy & Commerce Committee are not negotiating on drug pricing with staff of the Senate Finance Committee, sources say, even though Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said bicameral drug-pricing talks would occur in August.

August 22, 2019 | Daily News

Three former FDA commissioners are calling on FDA, CMS and Congress to work with stakeholders to increase the use of real-world evidence (RWE) and real-world data (RWD) in order to improve the evidence base for new drugs and biologics; refine regulatory decisions by FDA; and promote value-based payment models to make health care more affordable.

August 22, 2019 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) on Wednesday (Aug. 21) wrote to four leading e-cigarette makers, including JUUL and Reynolds American, seeking information about the public health effects of their products, their e-cigarette research efforts and their marketing practices, as well as timelines for when their products were introduced to the market and whether they plan to submit any premarket applications to FDA before May 2020.

August 20, 2019 | Daily News

Three Democratic senators are urging their colleagues to ramp up the traditional Medicare program to include more benefits, some of which are already offered by private Medicare Advantage plans, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy suggests that could be done by reinvesting what it calls wasteful spending on MA plans into new fee-for-service benefits.

August 19, 2019 | Daily News

The August recess has provided congressional staffers no reprieve from the onslaught of lobbying over surprise billing legislation as stakeholders continue to make their case for and against bills that set benchmark rates, which moved through House and Senate committees prior to the break.

August 17, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley said Friday (Aug. 16) that Senate staff are pre-negotiating with House Democrats on drug-pricing legislation that could pass the lower chamber in a bid to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a Senate vote.

August 15, 2019 | Daily News

A former FDA policy adviser believes a recent letter from senators, including two presidential hopefuls, calling for the agency to defend the withdrawal of its data falsification reporting rule, and possibly even revive the rule, is politically motivated, as FDA already determined the rule itself would not result in any practical benefit for public health.

August 14, 2019 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking Republican Greg Walden (OR) tells Inside Health Policy he is concerned about FDA’s plan to collect pathogen samples for an infectious disease database, considering the agency has not followed through on its pledge to improve its procedures for securing, storing and accounting for dangerous pathogens.

August 14, 2019 | Daily News

Generic drug makers in the United States could experience an uptick in competition from China in the next 10 years, according to a non-profit think tank that focuses on public policy and innovation.

August 14, 2019 | Daily News

Seniors’ out-of-pocket maximum in Medicare Part D is set to increase 25% in 2020, and lawmakers have shown no indication that they will address the problem before the end of 2019.

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