POLICY BRIEFINGS


Bipartisan Committee Leadership Support Enforcement of Hospital Transparency Rule


House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) have sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Beccera in support of a Trump-administration regulation that would impose penalties on hospitals that do not commit to certain measures of price transparency. The Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule requires hospitals to publicly report standard charges for all items and services. The lawmakers express concerns with reports of low hospital compliance with the final rule, which suggest that 65 of the largest 100 U.S. hospitals were noncompliant as of early February. Pallone and Rodgers state their support for a recent proposed rule that would provide for greater penalties for hospital noncompliance.


Oversight Democrats Release New Report on Medicare Drug Price Negotiation


Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee have released a new report estimating that the current ban on Medicare drug price negotiation has cost taxpayers at least $25 billion for just seven drugs over the last four years. This is the eighth staff report stemming from the panel’s two-year investigation into pharmaceutical industry pricing. The lawmakers argue that Medicare Part D has driven financial growth for drug manufacturers faster than in the commercial market. The report asserts that permitting government negotiation with just three insulin manufacturers would have saved $16.7 billion between 2011 and 2017.


OH Democrat Tests Positive for COVID-19


Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He attributed the fact that he is only experiencing mild symptoms to the protection of the safe and effective vaccine. More than 80 members of Congress have contracted the virus since spread began in March 2020.


Grassley to Run for Reelection


Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley announced that he will seek an eighth term next year. Grassley, at 88 years old, is one of the oldest members of the Senate. Grassley has served in the Senate since 1981 and has recently chaired the Finance and Judiciary committees.


WH Increases Vaccine Donation Pledge


The White House announced during its global COVID-19 Summit last week that it plans to purchase 500 million additional doses of the vaccine to distribute to the world’s poorest nations, bringing the United States’ total commitment to 1.1 billion doses. The administration has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population by September 2022, though experts estimate that it could take at least that long to distribute the total amount of U.S. vaccine donations. Approximately 30% of people worldwide are fully vaccinated. Earlier in the week, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers led by Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) sent a letter to the President arguing that “the speed at which critical donations are being provided, and appropriated funds are being transparently allocated, is neither matching the desperate urgency of this deadly pandemic nor fulfilling the previous commitments that have been made.”


New COVID-19 Guidance for Federal Contractors


The White House has set a deadline of December 8 for federal contractors to be fully vaccinated. The guidance, released on Friday by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is expected to impact tens of millions of U.S. workers. The guidance was issued in response to an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on September 9 requiring federal contractors to mandate vaccinations.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services hearing “How to Save a Life: Successful Models for Protecting Communities from COVID-19;” 10:15 a.m.,; September 28

House Judiciary Committee markup of legislation including H.R. 3429, the “Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce Act of 2021” or the “SHOP SAFE Act of 2021”; H.R. 2883, the “Stop Stalling Access to Affordable Medications”; H.R. 2891, the “Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act”; H.R. 2873, the “Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2021”; H.R. 2884, the “Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act”; H.R. 3617, the “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021” or the “MORE Act of 2021”; 10:00 a.m.; September 29

House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing “Upgrading Public Health Infrastructure: The Need to Protect, Rebuild, and Strengthen State and Local Public Health Departments;” 2:00 p.m.; September 29

Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to consider nominations, including the nomination of Dr. Atul A. Gawande to be an assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); 2:00 p.m.; September 29

House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization hearing “Modernizing and Securing VA’s IT Infrastructure;” 2:00 p.m.; September 30


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.5287 — To award a Congressional Gold Medal to honor the contributions of all of those whose efforts led to the successful development of life saving vaccines to combat the novel coronavirus. Sponsor: Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1]; Committees: House - Financial Services; House Administration; Budget

H.R.5273 — To establish a Gun Safety Board, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.5270 — To prohibit the National Institutes of Health from conducting or supporting certain gain-of-function research, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Carter, Earl L. “Buddy” [R-GA-1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.656 — Supporting the designation of September 17, 2021, as “National Physician Suicide Awareness Day” to raise awareness of, and promote a national discussion about, physician suicide and to reduce the stigma of mental health issues. Sponsor: Rep. Stevens, Haley M. [D-MI-11]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.654 — Expressing support for the designation of September 17, 2021, as “National Concussion Awareness Day”. Sponsor: Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.653 — Supporting the goals to protect United States military personnel from malaria. Sponsor: Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]; Committees: House - Foreign Affairs; Armed Services; Energy and Commerce

H.Res.649 — Supporting the goals and ideals of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day; Sponsor: Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

S.Res.367 — A resolution designating September 2021 as “National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month”; Sponsor: Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

S.Res.369 — A resolution supporting the designation of September 17, 2021, as “National Concussion Awareness Day”; Sponsor: Sen. Hassan, Maggie [D-NH]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2762 — A bill to amend title III of the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to award grants to eligible entities to carry out construction or modernization projects designed to strengthen and increase capacity within the specialized pediatric health care infrastructure, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Padilla, Alex [D-CA]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

H.Res.659 — Expressing support for the designation of September 2021 as “National Kinship Care Month”; Sponsor: Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.Res.660 — Supporting the designation of the week of September 19 through September 25, 2021, as “Telehealth Awareness Week”; Sponsor: Rep. Curtis, John R. [R-UT-3]; Committees: House - Oversight and Reform

S.2769 — A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to cover physician services delivered by podiatric physicians to ensure access by Medicaid beneficiaries to appropriate quality foot and ankle care, to amend title XVIII of such Act to modify the requirements for diabetic shoes to be included under Medicare, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2773 — A bill to amend the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to address satellite offices of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Leahy, Patrick [D-VT]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

S.2774 —A bill to amend title 35, United States Code, to address patent ownership, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Leahy, Patrick [D-VT]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

S.2776 — A bill to clarify that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has authority to implement a residential eviction moratorium under the quarantine authority vested by the Public Health Service Act, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2777 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make adjustments to payment rates for skilled nursing facilities under the Medicare program to account for certain unique circumstances; Sponsor: Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2779 — A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of a Task Force on Maternal Mental Health, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Hassan, Maggie [D-NH]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2780 — A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit certain adverse personnel actions taken against members of the Armed Forces based on declining the COVID-19 vaccine; Sponsor: Sen. Marshall, Roger [R-KS]; Committees: Senate - Armed Services

S.2787 — A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the role of doctors of podiatric medicine in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA]; Committees: Senate - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.5305 — Making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and for providing emergency assistance, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]; Committees: House - Appropriations; Budget; Ways and Means.

H.R.5307 — To clarify that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has authority to implement a residential eviction moratorium under the quarantine authority vested by the Public Health Service Act, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Bush, Cori [D-MO-1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.5312 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make adjustments to payment rates for skilled nursing facilities under the Medicare program to account for certain unique circumstances; Sponsor: Rep. Kahele, Kaiali’i [D-HI-2]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.5317 — To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a program to provide technical assistance to States and American Indian and Alaska Native tribes for the development of veteran suicide prevention activities, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA-41]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

S.Res.378 — A resolution designating September 2021 as “National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month”; Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Voice Vote.

S.2796 — A bill to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide for the eligibility of rural community response pilot programs for funding under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Ossoff, Jon [D-GA]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

H.Res.674 — Expressing support for the designation of September 22, 2021, as “National Hispanic Nurses Day”; Sponsor: Rep. Horsford, Steven [D-NV-4]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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 +  2020


 +  2019


 +  2018