McDermottPlus Healthcare Preview: Week of September 28

Senate to Vote on the Continuing Resolution.

  • CONTINUING RESOLUTION MOVING FORWARD. The Senate will vote on the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government this week prior to midnight on Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown. The CR that passed the House of Representative last week contains funding for all federal agencies through December 11, 2020, and provides some relief for providers who received Accelerated and Advanced Payment loans. It also provides funding for several Medicare, Medicaid and public healthcare programs (known as “healthcare extenders”) until December 11.
  • Not tied to the CR is a COVID-19 relief package. However, House Democrats could release a more than $2 trillion relief and stimulus package this week. There is also reporting of the House and White House restarting negotiations on a package, but in the current political environment, it seems unlikely that a compromise would be reached prior to the election or potentially even in the lame duck session.
  • PRESCRIPTION DRUG COUPONS TO SENIORS. Late last week, the Administration announced a number of healthcare policy updates, including an executive order, a new prescription drug discount card and the final rule on drug importation. The announcement that is gaining the most attention is the initiative to provide Medicare Part D beneficiaries with a $200 prescription drug discount card. The Administration has not released any details on this effort, and it is unclear where the funding for the initiative will come from. Concerns have also been raised as to the Administration’s authority for the discount card effort, which remains unclear. It is likely that any effort to send these cards to seniors will be challenged legally, but it is not certain who or what entity would have standing to challenge the initiative.

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