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Congress

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

Seventy-two percent of voters think it’s very important for President Joe Biden and Congress to take action to lower prescription drug costs this year and 92% said lowering drug costs was very or fairly important to them, according to a survey conducted by Families USA and released Wednesday (March 17).

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

Maternal health advocates are cheering the COVID-19 relief package’s provision that lets states extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for up to one year without asking CMS, but they still want Congress to make the extension mandatory and to send states additional federal funds to implement it.

March 16, 2021 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) joined key Democratic senators to discuss next steps to control health care costs and expand coverage during a call with Protect Our Care Tuesday -- laying the groundwork for health and drug-pricing reforms that could be included in another reconciliation package.

March 16, 2021 | Daily News

More than two dozen Democratic senators are sponsoring legislation that would reverse the Trump administration’s revised guidance on Section 1332 waivers -- codified as part of the 2022 exchange rule -- that they say promotes “junk” health care plans and undermines coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

March 15, 2021 | Daily News

Nursing home providers and advocates want lawmakers to pass a series of workforce, oversight, clinical and structural reforms for the sector and increase funding to support those measures.

March 15, 2021 | Daily News

The House this week will consider three bipartisan drug-pricing and food safety bills, two of which aim to increase competition and lower drug prices by more narrowly defining the types of new drugs that can receive five years of exclusivity and by increasing education in biologics and biosimilars.

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

Scott Gottlieb and Margaret Hamburg joined other past FDA chiefs in calling for FDA to be an independent agency that reports directly to the White House, saying the current structure where FDA reports to HHS slows down regulations and policymaking and offers a vehicle for stakeholders to lobby HHS to change FDA decisions.

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

House Democrats’ bill to extend the Medicare sequester moratorium and waive the cost of the American Rescue Plan likely would need to be changed to make it through the upper chamber, those closely following the issue say, as one lobbyist notes Republicans aren’t necessarily in favor of waiving the PAY-GO scorecard for the newly signed COVID-19 relief bill.

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

The American Psychological Association CEO advocated for increased funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention, better enforcement of mental health parity laws and racial equity in treatment at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 and the mental health and substance use crises Thursday (March 11).

March 11, 2021 | Daily News

House Democrats plan to take up legislation next week to extend the Medicare sequester moratorium through the end of the year and to waive the PAY-GO scorecard for the newly signed American Rescue Plan so that it doesn’t create an additional sequester cut, lobbyists say.

March 11, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is scheduling a drug pricing hearing March 23 for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension subcommittee that he chairs, lobbyists say.

March 10, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Democrats led by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen are pushing legislation that would enhance the value of and eligibly for the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) and permanently fund the program, thus eliminating the need for the “silver-loading” workaround that insurers crafted after the Trump administration ended direct payments to reimburse their costs for the subsidies in 2017.

March 09, 2021 | Daily News

House Appropriations subcommittee lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday (March 9) urged FDA to embrace new tools -- such as requiring country of origin labels and assigning a grade to drug companies -- to help consumers know which drugs are safe as the agency continues its hold on foreign onsite inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

Cities and counties would each receive $65.1 billion -- more than a previous draft’s allocation -- under the latest Senate version of the American Rescue Plan passed Saturday (March 6), while states would be subject to the Treasury secretary’s discretion on whether they should get all of their COVID-19 relief funds upfront or wait a year to receive a portion.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

A last-minute Senate amendment to the American Rescue Plan act includes a temporary 10% increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for home- and community-based services.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

House lawmakers are trying to balance their interest in continuing telehealth expansion beyond the pandemic with concerns such services could be overused or used improperly, coming as Department of Justice officials say stopping telehealth false claims is a priority.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

State and local governments were set to receive $350 billion under the House-passed American Rescue Plan, but the updated version of the pandemic relief bill moving through the Senate would reduce the funding for local governments by $10 billion to pay for increased broadband access and split that relief into two funding pots released a year apart.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

The National Kidney Foundation this week cheered introduction of bipartisan legislation that aims to protect living organ donors by banning life and long-term insurers from denying them coverage.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission members raised concerns in a meeting Thursday (March 4) that if states don’t reimburse COVID-19 vaccinations at or above Medicare rates, there will be large swaths of people not getting vaccinated, putting people in other states at risk.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

The COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed policymakers’ attention to the opioid and substance use disorder crisis, stakeholders say, but provisions included in COVID-19 relief legislation are a good start in recognizing the connection between the two public health emergencies.

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