This Week in Washington: CMS announces the 2023 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule
Republican Healthy Future Task Force Announces Solutions to Drug Costs and Increasing Access to Cures
On April 29, the Healthy Future Task Force announced its solutions for lowering drug costs and increasing the availability of cures and therapies. The Healthy Future Task Force is a 17-member task force that is working to develop healthcare policy solutions that align with the Republican party’s healthcare agenda. The recently announced solutions focus on promoting medicines produced in the U.S., lowering out-of-pocket costs and reducing bureaucracy in healthcare.
A one-pager on the Healthy Future Task Force solutions can be found here.
Reps. Rodgers, Banks and Wenstrup Introduce Bill to Prohibit QALYs in Federal Programs
On April 28, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Jim Banks (R-IN) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act. The bill would prohibit the use of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in all federal programs. QALYs are currently used in federal programs, except for Medicare, to determine if a treatment is cost-effective and should be covered. The representatives argue that the metric devalues treatments for disabled individuals and people with chronic illness.
Sen. Crapo and Rep. Brady Express Concern with Proposed “Family Glitch” Fix
On April 28, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury Department Janet Yellen expressing their concern with a recent proposed rule by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that presents a solution to the “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the letter, Sen. Crapo and Rep. Brady argue that the statutory language of the ACA cannot be changed in this manner, and the proposed rule does not consider the potential economic effect on employees and employers.
Sens. Hassan and Braun Call on FDA to Update Opioid Prescription Labels
On April 28, Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Braun (R-IN) wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf calling for the FDA to update its policies for labeling opioid prescriptions. The senators recommended that the FDA update opioid labels by removing unsupported claims of long-term efficacy and taking off the term “abuse deterrent,” which can be misleading to consumers.
Sens. Durbin and Braun Introduce the Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022
On April 26, Sens. Dick Durbin and Mike Braun introduced the Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022. The bill would require dietary supplement manufacturers to list their products with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide basic information about ingredients and labels that would be made available to the public.
Sens. Rubio, Blackburn and Others Introduce Bill to Prohibit the President from Issuing a TRIPS Waiver Without Congressional Authorization
On April 26, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Cynthia Lummis and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the No Free TRIPS Act. The bill would prohibit the president from engaging in negotiations or making any changes to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) without congressional authorization. The Biden administration has announced it would seek TRIPS waivers to increase global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.