WH Delays Surprise Billing Law’s Reporting Requirements

The Biden administration has decided to delay enforcement of the No Surprises Act’s price reporting requirements until July 1, 2022 pending further rulemaking, according to a frequently asked questions document published by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury. The law, which takes effect January 1, 2022, requires health plans to publicly disclose prescription drug prices in a machine-readable format. The agencies stated that the delay is the result of concerns from stakeholders that some of the law’s requirements may be duplicative. The FAQ also explains that the administration will not be issuing regulations for several other aspects of the No Surprises Act, including the law’s advanced explanation of benefits requirement and its prohibition on gag clauses.

Three More Senators Experience Breakthrough COVID Cases

Three fully-vaccinated U.S. senators have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week: Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine), and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.). These cases bring the total number of known breakthrough cases amongst congressional lawmakers to six. The Senate is on recess until next month so the members’ quarantine periods will not impact the chamber’s business.

Recently Introduced Health Legislation

H.R.5036 — To amend titles 36 and 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out actions for certain surviving family members of veterans deceased as the result of suicide, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Van Drew, Jefferson [R-NJ-2]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs; Judiciary

H.R.5035 — To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to establish or expand programs to implement evidence-aligned practices in health care settings for the purpose of reducing the suicide rates of covered individuals, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Underwood, Lauren [D-IL-14]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor

H.R.5030 — To improve diversity in clinical trials and data collection for COVID-19 and future public health threats to address social determinants of health. Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.5029 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to furnish Vet Center readjustment counseling and related mental health services to members of the families of members or veterans of the Armed Forces who died by suicide, and other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Rouzer, David [R-NC-7]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.5026 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for a presumption of service connection for illnesses associated with service in the Armed Forces in the Panama Canal Zone, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Newman, Marie [D-IL-3]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.5021 — To require States and local jurisdictions that institute vaccine passports to require voter identification in Federal elections. Sponsor: Rep. Mace, Nancy [R-SC-1]; Committees: House - House Administration

H.R.5015 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to expand hospitals eligible for the Medicaid DSH payment adjustment. Sponsor: Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.5012 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for enhanced Medicare beneficiary information through access to annual Medicare notifications in multiple languages. Sponsor: Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.5011 — To provide for the establishment of Medicare part E public health plans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Education and Labor

H.R.5009 — To prohibit the District of Columbia Government from requiring individuals to present documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entering any building, facility, or other venue in the District of Columbia. Sponsor: Rep. Fallon, Pat [R-TX-4]; Committees: House - Oversight and Reform

H.R.5007 — Protecting Vulnerable Patients Act; Sponsor: Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.Res.587 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress disapproves of Department of Defense leadership pursuing adverse actions toward members of the Armed Forces of the United States who choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Sponsor: Rep. Green, Mark E. [R-TN-7]; Committees: House - Armed Services

H.Res.586 — Expressing support for the United States Government to be a guaranteed buyer of vaccines and for the United States to develop a “Marshall Plan” for global vaccinations. Sponsor: Rep. Auchincloss, Jake [D-MA-4]; Committees: House - Foreign Affairs

H.Res.590 — Recognizing that many Americans are not aware of the ways in which health care policy can affect every part of their lives and expressing support for the designation of the month of August as “National Health Care Awareness Month”; Sponsor: Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.5040 — To amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to reduce cost-sharing, align income and resource eligibility tests, simplify enrollment, and provide for other program improvements for low-income Medicare beneficiaries; Sponsor: Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

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