This week in Washington: President Biden Announces American Families Plan Vision in Speech to Joint Session of Congress.


House Education and Labor Committee to Hold Hearing to Discuss Drug Pricing Bill
On May 5, the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing to discuss the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). The bill, which was first introduced in 2019, would allow the federal government to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs and cap seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, among other things. The House passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act with bipartisan support in 2020. However, the Senate did not take up the legislation.

House Energy and Commerce to Hold Hearing on Drug Pricing Legislation
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on May 4, at 11:30 a.m., titled “Negotiating a Better Deal: Legislation to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs” to discuss drug pricing legislation. Eight bills will be discussed at the hearing, and can be found listed below:

  • H.R. 3, the “Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act”
  • H.R. 19, the “Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2021”
  • H.R. 153, the “Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2021”
  • H.R. 2815, the “Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines Act” or the “BIOSIM Act”
  • H.R. 2831, the “Prompt Approval of Safe Generic Drugs Act”
  • H.R. 2843, the “Stop The Overuse of Petitions and Get Affordable Medicines to Enter Soon Act of 2021” or the “STOP GAMES Act”
  • H.R. 2846, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require PDP sponsors of a prescription drug plan under part D of the Medicare program that use a formulary to include certain generic drugs and biosimilar biological products on such formulary, and for other purposes
  • H.R. 2853, the “Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics Act of 2021” or the “BLOCKING Act”


Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden to Move on Drug Pricing
Although President Biden stressed his commitment to addressing drug pricing in his April 28 address to Congress, drug pricing reform was not included in the American Families Plan. In response to this, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) stated he will start drafting drug pricing reform legislation.

Senators Thune and Carper Reintroduce Bill on Chronic Disease Management
On April 28, Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and John Thune (R-SD) reintroduced legislation to ensure that high-deductible health plans (HDHP) linked to health savings accounts (HSA) can cover services to manage chronic disease prior to a beneficiary’s reaching their plan deductible. The legislation was previously introduced in 2020, and the text can be found here.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.