Congress has one last week in session before a two-week recess.
This Means It Will Be a Busy Week. The first order of business is for the Senate to pass the short-term continuing resolution (CR) that the House of Representatives passed last week. The House-passed bill would fund the government through November 21, 2019, at current levels. The CR also contains funding extensions for several health care programs, which either have already expired or will be expiring at the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2019). The Senate is expected to vote on the CR this week. This will give Congress more time to work out remaining differences in a final spending package for fiscal year 2020. There are also a number of hearings this week. Of particular interest are two hearings, one focusing on vaping and e-cigarettes and another on Speaker Pelosi’s (D-CA) prescription drug package.
Speaking of Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms… Last week, the text of the prescription drug package from Speaker Pelosi was released. The bill proposes significant changes to prescription drug pricing including price negotiation, catastrophic coverage reform, inflationary caps, and caps on out-of-pocket spending for Medicare beneficiaries. This week, there will be House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing specifically focusing on the Pelosi bill. We can be sure that House Republicans will not be in favor of the bill. However, it will be more interesting to watch House Democrats. Specifically, do moderate Democrats support the bill or does it go too far for them? On the other hand, there are the progressive Democrats that may not support the bill because it does not go far enough. Get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be a fascinating hearing to watch.
Also be sure to read our analysis of the overlap between the Pelosi, Grassley-Wyden, and the Trump Administration prescription drug pricing proposals.
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