POLICY BRIEFINGS


Reps. Bergman, Correa Launch Bipartisan PACT Caucus


Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) have launched the Congressional Psychedelics Advancing Clinical Treatments (PACT) Caucus. According to a statement from the lawmakers, the new caucus will examine how to “alleviate the national mental health crisis through psychedelic science and research.” They also seek to promote research into the efficacy of psychedelics for the treatment of brain health conditions.


Wyden, Casey Push to Strengthen MA Consumer Protections


Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senate Special Committee on Aging Chair Bob Casey (D- Pa.) have penned a letter to the White House urging the administration to implement additional consumer protections in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. The lawmakers cite reports of deceptive marketing practices by insurance plans aimed at MA beneficiaries. Wyden released a related investigation further detailing these allegations earlier this month.


State AGs Ask WH to Make Permanent Telehealth Prescribing Flexibilities


The National Association of State Attorneys General have sent a letter to Biden administration officials urging them to make permanent COVID-era regulatory flexibilities that allow patients to be prescribed controlled substances via telehealth. The bipartisan letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and leadership at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was signed by 42 state AGs and the AGs of Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. The DEA and SAMHSA waived portions of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act requiring doctors to see a patient in-person before prescribing controlled substances, including opioid use disorder treatment buprenorphine, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This waiver is tied to the public health emergency declaration, which is currently slated to run until April 2023. “Enabling creative, effective strategies, such as telemedicine, is critical to reducing the number of overdose deaths in our country, particularly in underserved areas, and ending the overdose crisis,” letter states. “We need your help now so that successful strategies implemented during the pandemic are not discontinued.” A DEA proposed regulation to create a registration process for providers seeking to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.Res.1466 — Of inquiry requesting the President to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the investigation by the intelligence community into the origins of the COVID-19 virus; Sponsor: Turner, Michael R. [Rep.-R-OH-10]; Committees: House - Intelligence (Permanent Select)

H.Res.1468 — Of inquiry directing the Director of National Intelligence to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the investigation by the intelligence community into the origins of the COVID-19 virus; Sponsor: Turner, Michael R. [Rep.-R-OH-10]; Committees: House - Intelligence (Permanent Select)

S.Res.831 — A resolution designating October 10, 2022, as “World Mental Health Day”; Sponsor: Coons, Christopher A. [Sen.-D-DE]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

S.Res.832 — A resolution supporting the designation of September 13, 2022 as National Sepsis Day; Sponsor: Schumer, Charles E. [Sen.-D-NY]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

S.5086 – A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect children’s health by denying any deduction for advertising and marketing directed at children to promote the consumption of food of poor nutritional quality. Sponsor: Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.5088 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve the enrollment of retiring individuals in the Medicare program; Sponsor: Casey, Robert P., Jr. [Sen.-D-PA]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.5093 — A bill to further protect patients and improve the accuracy of provider directory information by eliminating ghost networks; Sponsor: Smith, Tina [Sen.-D-MN]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

H.R.9299 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect children’s health by denying any deduction for advertising and marketing directed at children to promote the consumption of food of poor nutritional quality; Sponsor: DeLauro, Rosa L. [Rep.-D-CT-3]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Education and Labor

H.R.9297 – To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to facilitate the exchange of certain product information, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Guthrie, Brett [R-KY-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.9303 — To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to formulate a strategy for the Federal Government to secure support from foreign countries, multilateral organizations, and other appropriate entities to facilitate the development and commercialization of qualified pandemic or epidemic products, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Levin, Mike [Rep.-D-CA-49]; Committees: House - Foreign Affairs

S.5106 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure Medicare-only PACE program enrollees have a choice of prescription drug plans under Medicare part D; Sponsor: Carper, Thomas R. [Sen.-D-DE]; Committees: Senate – Finance

H.R.9310 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to give the United States Preventive Services Task Force the authority to take early action based on scientific evidence, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Blunt Rochester, Lisa [Rep.-D-DE-At Large]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.9321 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the development and publication of independent value assessments for drugs, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Speier, Jackie [Rep.-D-CA-14]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.1483 — Supporting the goals and ideals of National Rural Health Day; Sponsor: Cole, Tom [Rep.-R-OK-4]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.1485 — Expressing support for the designation of November 17, 2022, as “National Rural Mental Health Day”; Sponsor: Emmer, Tom [Rep.-R-MN-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Agriculture

H.Con.Res.115 — Expressing support for the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family and urging that the United States be added as a signatory; Sponsor: Banks, Jim [Rep.-R-IN-3]; Committees: House - Foreign Affairs

H.Con.Res.117 — Expressing the sense of Congress that public health professionals should be commended for their dedication and service to the United States on “Public Health Thank You Day”, November 21, 2022; Sponsor: Wittman, Robert J. [Rep.-R-VA-1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.9328 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a demonstration program to promote collaborative treatment of mental and physical health comorbidities under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Boyle, Brendan F. [Rep.-D- PA-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.9329 — To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow waivers of annual establishment registration fees for small businesses, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Bucshon, Larry [Rep.-R-IN-8]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.9336 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to require coverage under State plans under the Medicaid program for annual lung cancer screening with no cost sharing for individuals for whom screening is recommended by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, to expand coverage under Medicaid of counseling and pharmacotherapy for cessation of tobacco use, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Higgins, Brian [Rep.-D-NY-26]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means



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