House Ways and Means Committee: “Investing in the U.S. Health System by Lowering Drug Prices, Reducing Out-of-Pocket Costs, and Improving Medicare Benefits”
The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on prescription drug pricing costs, as well as discussing the government drug price negotiation plan released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), H.R. 3. The Ways and Means Committee is one of the committees with jurisdiction on the topic, and Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) is a cosponsor of H.R. 3. Find more details on the hearing here. Find the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on H.R. 3 here.
House Energy and Commerce Committee: “Markup of H.R. 3, H.R. 4665, H.R. 4671, H.R. 4618, H.R. 4650”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a markup of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. The remaining four bills considered offered reforms to the Medicare program. Republican members of the committee noted that regular order has been avoided and that a subcommittee markup was skipped, seemingly “rushing” H.R. 3. The lengthy debate was on H.R. 3, with full Democratic support, while Republican members introduced a handful of amendments in order to display their opposition. These amendments fought back on the international drug-pricing index of H.R. 3, as well as generally calling the negotiation bill a “price-setting” bill. Republican members were also concerned that the remaining four Medicare bills did not have a hearing before a vote—amendments were not made, yet there was an emphasis on the partisan nature of the debate. All offered legislation was favorably reported to the House. Prior to the markup changes were made to HR 3 and offered as a substitute. The most notable changes in the substitute amendment included increasing the number of drugs subject to negotiation and that a drug would remain eligible for price negotiations until there were two generics on the market. Changes were coordinated among the three committees with jurisdiction. Energy and Commerce also made a change related to the 340B program, which is in its jurisdiction. Find more details on the markup here.
House Education and Labor Committee: “Markup of H.R. 3, Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019”
The House Education and Labor Committee held a markup of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute, with changes that were coordinated with the Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees’ jurisdiction. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. The committee adopted four other amendments offered by Democrats. Amendments offered by Republicans failed. The adopted amendments would require that the copayment for a drug under participating employer plans not exceed the negotiated price, have a requirement for federal investigators to examine the effects of price negotiation and have the extension of the inflation cap to employer plans. The amendments also ensure data collected under the bill is not duplicative. Find more details on the markup here.
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