Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


House to Consider Package of Health Care Bills This Week

The House of Representatives plans to vote on several health care related bills this week. According to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the legislation is aimed at increasing the number of affordable health care choices available to Americans. The chamber will vote on the Protect Medical Innovation Act, a bill to permanently repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax on medical devices. The House will consider the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act, legislation that would delay for two years the ACA’s Cadillac tax on high cost health plans. The House will also vote on the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act, which would expand the use of health savings accounts (HSAs). In addition to these bills, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2018, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), the EMPOWER Act of 2018, the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 and several veterans’ health care bills are also on the suspension calendar.

House Passes OTC and Animal Drug User Fee Legislation

The House of Representatives passed two bipartisan pieces of legislation relating to user fee programs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 5333) would modernize regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) products and establish a $134 million, five-year user fee program to help ensure patients have timely access to new therapies. The bill would also shorten OTC products’ market exclusivity and increase the FDA’s ability to remove products with ingredients it deems unsafe. The Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (H.R. 5554) would reauthorize the new animal drugs and new generic animal drugs user fee programs, which expire in October. Both bills passed the House by voice vote.

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