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Congress

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday (Dec. 10) cleared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill (H.R. 3) for a floor vote after Pelosi reached a deal with progressives to increase the minimum number of drugs subject to negotiation each year to 50 and to restore Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) amendment to extend price-spike protections to private plans.

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

Mental health and community health center advocates are pushing for passage of surprise billing and drug pricing legislation since the various bills include funding extensions for community health centers and mental health clinics -- a move one congressional staffer close to the Senate Finance Committee bill said was meant to bolster the overall package.

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

House Democrats are still negotiating a possible delay or repeal of three controversial health care taxes in a year-end spending package, but advocates for the tax delays worry that negotiations could be bumped into early 2020 due to an increasingly short timeline to pass a difficult spending bill or package and House and Senate leadership prioritizing other legislation.

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee members asked FDA drug center chief Janet Woodcock how foreign staffing shortages are limiting agency inspections of drug manufacturers abroad during an oversight hearing Tuesday (Dec. 10).

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other conservative lawmakers intend to pursue an expansion of FDA’s Parallel Track program if Stephen Hahn is appointed as FDA commissioner, even though FDA already has similar programs, such as Expanded Access, already in place, as well as a new pilot program, Project Facilitate.

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

House and Senate lawmakers urge CMS to make it clear to Medicare beneficiaries that they could qualify for a special enrollment period if they were misled by information in the Medicare Plan Finder, coming after beneficiary advocates said there are a number of problems with the updated website.

December 11, 2019 | Daily News

The Congressional Progressive Caucus expressed optimism it would get at least one of its amendments added to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill, following a meeting between caucus leaders and the California Democrat Tuesday afternoon (Dec.10).

December 10, 2019 | Daily News

The Senate passed over-the-counter (OTC) drug monograph reform legislation by a vote of 91-2 on Tuesday (Dec. 10), coming after the lower chamber’s counterpart bill, reintroduced over the summer, was added to the House GOP’s drug pricing legislation.

December 10, 2019 | Daily News

The updated version of the Senate health committee’s drug pricing bill includes myriad new tobacco-related proposals that, among other things, aim to improve age verification, place labeling and advertising restrictions on electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products, prevent online sales of e-cigarettes to children and require FDA to submit user fee financial reports for fiscal 2020 to Congress.

December 10, 2019 | Daily News

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled new tweaks to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which include the removal of biologics exclusivity protections, and said a vote on an implementing bill could come as soon as next week.

December 10, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is expected to unveil legislation to improve nursing home oversight, possibly before the end of the year, according to a source working on the legislation.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who advocated for arbitration along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), expressed frustration that hospitals and providers are unhappy with the House and Senate surprise billing compromise, noting that most of the policies providers were pushing for made it into the final bill.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who advocated for arbitration along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), expressed frustration that hospitals and providers are unhappy with the House and Senate surprise billing compromise, noting that most of the policies providers were pushing for made it into the final bill.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The House GOP-led drug pricing package of bipartisan proposals introduced Monday also includes a measure being pushed by seniors’ advocates that would permanently reverse an Affordable Care Act provision that increased the percent of income above which taxpayers can claim a medical expense deduction.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The latest version of the Senate health committee’s drug pricing legislation no longer contains three key provisions: one that would give FDA new authority to address outdated drug labeling, another that would exempt biologic products from having to follow U.S. Pharmacopeial standards and a third that would stop brand drug makers from inappropriately using FDA citizen petitions to delay generic competition, based on a section-by-section of the bill released Monday (Dec. 9).

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The Senate health committee’s updated cost-cutting package unveiled Monday (Dec. 9) includes various privacy and security provisions to strengthen protections for health data, after several members of the committee introduced their own bills to tighten privacy standards, but it strips language from the original bill unveiled in May on CMS’ Blue Button initiative.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The Senate health committee’s updated cost-cutting package includes provisions from both Senate and House bills to improve maternal health, including calls for various HHS grant programs to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

House Republicans on Monday (Dec. 9) introduced a bill (H.R. 19) that combines many bipartisan measures to control drug prices, including several from the Senate Finance bill, but it excludes a key measure from the upper chamber’s bill that would make drug companies pay back the government when they raise prices faster than inflation.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The House and Senate surprise billing compromise sets a benchmark payment rate for out-of-network bills at the median in-network rate for a geographic area, and the insurer or provider can move to an independent dispute resolution process if the median in-network payment is above $750.

December 09, 2019 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee is now set to examine nine health care bills at a Tuesday hearing, having added a bill that would incentivize Medicaid expansion and another that would create a federal public option to the list of seven bills that aim to expand health coverage to more Americans.

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