Republican Set to Release COVID-19 Stimulus Package.
- REPUBLICANS SET TO RELEASE COVID-19 STIMULUS PACKAGE. We expect that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will release the Republican COVID-19 stimulus package early this week. The timing of the release was delayed due to differences between the White House and Senate Republicans. McConnell has been negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to help ensure that the Administration and Congressional Republicans have a unified front when negotiating with Democrats. Similar to last week, the specifics of the bill have been kept close hold. Some leaked summaries of the package did include provisions relating to funding for testing and vaccines, some healthcare related policies such as telemedicine, and liability protections. However, whatever is included will be the starting point of negotiations with Democrats. Excluding certain provisions causes others to fight to add every dollar into the final bill and for McConnell to ask for something in return. Also, it is important to remember that time is running out before Congress heads to August recess. The next few weeks will be extremely busy with lawmakers hashing out the details of a package.
- DRUG PRICING IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Last week, the President unveiled four Executive Orders that deal with major areas in prescription drug pricing reform: rebates for pharmacy benefit managers, insulin costs, drug importation, and international benchmarks. The text on the international benchmarks executive order has yet to be released, but the Administration indicated this policy would go into effect on August 25 unless pharmaceutical manufacturers could reach a deal with the Administration. The industry is meeting with the Administration on Tuesday. Although it is unlikely that these policies will be enacted and enforced prior to the election, they are important talking points for the campaign trail.
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