POLICY BRIEFINGS


Wyden, Grassley Introduce Bill to Prevent Drug Misclassification


Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced the Right Rebate Act of 2018 (S. 3702), legislation that would give the HHS Secretary the authority to reclassify a drug and recoup Medicaid rebates when a pharmaceutical manufacturer deliberately misclassifies a drug to pay lower rebates and to recoup the rebate payments. Mylan, the makers of EpiPen, paid $465 million in 2016 to settle a lawsuit for incorrectly classifying the product as a generic drug. Grassley is the incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, where Wyden currently serves as the Ranking Member. The House of Representatives may vote on the measure this week as a part of a larger package that includes the ACE Kids Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at improving care for children with complex medical needs.


Senate Clears Maternity Care Legislation


The Senate unanimously passed the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (H.R. 315) last week. The bipartisan bill aims to expand access to maternal care and would incentivize OB-GYNs to work in counties with shortages of maternal health care providers. The legislation was passed by the House last year, also by a unanimous vote. The bill will now be sent to the President’s desk for his signature. 


Committee Leadership in the 116th Congress


House Republicans announced committee ranking members for the 116th Congress last week. There was no change for health-related committees. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will serve as ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) will be the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.


CBO to Release New Report on Budgetary Options


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release the latest edition of a periodic budgetary report titled Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028, on December 13. It will include 121 policy options that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. The options contained in the report are not recommendations by CBO but are instead meant to educate lawmakers on the implications of possible policy choices. The report draws from legislative proposals, the administration’s budget proposals, Congressional offices, other government entities, and private groups.


Health and Human Services (HHS) Report Recommends Steps to Increase Health Care Choice, Competition


HHS, alongside the U.S. Departments of Labor and Treasury, released a report titled “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition,” detailing a wish list for developing a better functioning health care market. The report identifies government regulations that act as barriers to market competition and stifle innovation, lead to higher prices, and fail to incentivize improvements in quality. It includes over 50 recommendations for action by either the administration, Congress, or state governments, arguing for the expanded use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increased price transparency, and a lifting of restrictions on physician-owned hospitals. The report also recommends broadening providers’ scope of practice, expanding access to telehealth, and funding graduate medical education (GME) through a single grant that rewards the training of residents in priority specialties or programs. The recommendations outline the administration’s health policy priorities for the second half of the President’s first term. 



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2020


 +  2019


 +  2018