This Week: Congress begins hearings on drug issues; Ways and Means focuses on preexisting conditions.


Ways and Means Chairman Schedules Hearing Next Week on Preexisting Conditions
The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) announced a hearing on protecting individuals with preexisting conditions to be held on Jan. 29. The hearing is the first for the Ways and Means Committee since the Democrats gained the majority in the House. This hearing also begins their work on how to stabilize the marketplace. Find details for the hearing here.

Bipartisan Introduction of Cadillac Tax Repeal Bill in 116th Congress
On Jan. 24, a bipartisan effort out of the House reintroduced legislation to fully repeal the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans, known as the “Cadillac tax.” The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act is led by Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), with Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also signing on as original sponsors. In the last Congress, more than 300 representatives and 33 senators from both parties cosponsored a similar Cadillac tax repeal bill. Read and monitor H.R. 748 here.


Senate Finance and House Oversight Committees to Hold Drug-Pricing Hearing on Same Day
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will hold a drug-pricing hearing on Jan. 29, the same day the House Oversight Committee will also hold a hearing on the same topic. Grassley reintroduced bills with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) early this month to ban pay-for-delay patent settlements between brands and generics and to permit Canadian drug imports. Find details for the Senate Finance Committee hearing here. Find details for the House Oversight Committee hearing here.

Read more on healthcare policy on the McGuireWoods Consulting website.