United States: Capitol Hill Healthcare Update - June 17, 2019

Below is this week's "Capitol Hill Healthcare Update," which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, last week confirmed that his planned drug pricing legislation won't be unveiled until after lawmakers return from a the Fourth of July recess.

But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is pressing ahead with a vote this month on legislation that aims to thwart "anti-competitive use of patents" that prevent generic drug and biosimilar competition. The bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to step in if "patent tickets" are being used to stifle generic competition.

PhRMA opposes the bill.

Graham said he hoped the Cornyn-Blumenthal bill could be included in a package of drug pricing initiatives pushed separately by Grassley and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Grassley's legislation is expected to tackle how Medicare and Medicaid reimburse for drugs and require pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay a greater percentage of seniors' drug costs under Medicare Part D, lowering seniors' out-of-pocket costs.

Meanwhile, House Democrats continue internal disagreements on how to approach drug pricing. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was forced to change a proposal that called for Medicare to negotiate prices on 25 drugs after liberals in her caucus argued the plan was too timid. Pelosi reportedly upped the negotiation requirement to 250 drugs within Medicare Part D. Still, progressive lawmakers are frustrated that six months into the Democrats' House majority, the party doesn't have consensus legislation to address prescription drug prices.


Senior Trump administration health officials will testify Wednesday before a Senate Aging Committee hearing on how competition can lower prescription drug costs.

Witnesses will include Demetrios Kouzoukas, the No. 2 official at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the drug center at the Food and Drug Administration; and

Vicki Robinson of the inspector general's office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Senate HELP Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on legislation introduced by the panel's chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to lower healthcare costs. Alexander said he wants the committee to vote on the package next week.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday about the federal approach to opioid treatment.

The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee plans a hearing Thursday on strategies to boost Medicaid funding for U.S. territories.

The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on medical marijuana.


Bipartisan legislation introduced last week in the Senate would call for new regulations to strengthen privacy protections for healthcare apps, wearable devices like Fitbits and direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska., follows media reports earlier this spring that a pregnancy tracking app sold user data to employers.

The bill also would create a national task force on health data protection to evaluate, and provide input to address, cybersecurity risks and privacy concerns associated with consumer products that collect personal health data, and to develop security standards for consumer devices, services, applications and software.


The House on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on bipartisan legislation extending several Medicaid pilot programs and making changes to how Medicaid drug rebates are calculated.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., would extend Medicaid's Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration project and spousal impoverishment protections for Home- and Community-Based Services recipients. The programs help people with chronic conditions transition from institutional settings to community-based settings while still receiving care.

The House voted earlier this year to temporarily extend the Medicaid programs. The legislation lawmakers will vote on this week would reauthorize the programs through 2024 and boost their funding.

The bill also would increase rebates pharmaceutical manufacturers must provide to federal and state governments. The bill would require rebates based only on the price of a brand-name drug and remove the requirement to include the price of generic versions in the rebate calculations.


The House is scheduled to wrap up votes this week on a nearly $1 trillion package of appropriations bills that includes an $8.8 billion boost for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The House started debate last week but was unable to finish consideration of the bill as lawmakers plowed through scores of amendments to the funding package.

Overall, HHS would see $99.4 billion in fiscal 2020 under the plan developed by House Democrats. The administrative budget for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would increase by $399 million; the National Institutes of Health's budget would increase by $6.9 billion to $41 billion; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's budget would increase by $1.7 billion to $8.2 billion.

The overall bill reflects House Democrats' policy and budget priorities and still must be approved by the Senate, where Republicans have different policy and spending objectives. Fiscal 2020 begins Oct. 1.


The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus invited six CEOs of pharmaceutical manufacturers to participate in a forum next week on "prescription drug price gouging."

Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., issued the invitation to six pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Mylan, Eli Lilly and others.

None of the CEOs is expected to participate.

Both Pocan and Jayapal are co-sponsoring legislation that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices. Under the bill, if manufacturers refused to accept the government's price for a drug, the manufactures' patents would be invalidated, and generic versions would be immediately authorized.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions