A House Vote on Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms Slips as We Approach a One Week Recess in the House.
House Vote on Prescription Drug Pricing Slips. The House was moving lightning fast to advance H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill moved through three Committees – Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Ways and Means – over the last two weeks. However, last week, it was announced that the House would not vote on the bill until mid-November at the earliest to give the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) time to complete a score. This bill makes significant changes to prescription drug pricing that have direct and indirect effects. Government negotiation can have a broader impact than just government programs. CBO needs to determine these effects and the behavioral economics that unfolds across the health care system when a policy is implemented. And as a reminder, CBO likes to be as close to right as possible or have its assumptions and scores at least be defensible. The worst-case scenario for CBO is to have to revisit scores because they were rushed to complete them.
The Delay Can Actually Benefit Democrats. Along with moving H.R. 3 through the committees, House Democrats have also advanced major expansions of Medicare — specifically, adding vision, dental, and hearing benefits to the program. Prior to the voting delay, the House was moving so quickly that Democrats could not effectively message and promote this expansion of the Medicare benefit, which would be the largest expansion of the program since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003. Now, we will hear more about this expansion.
Trick or Treat..? It’s October 28 and there is still no ruling on Texas vs. Azar. A scary thing to think about as we approach Halloween.
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