Legislative Activity

Potential for Reconciliation Language to Move Through Committees This Week

With reports that reconciliation language was available for House Republicans to review last week, sources indicate that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Ways and Means may mark up their respective reconciliation language this Wednesday, March 8, however no formal announcement has been made. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) will reportedly brief lawmakers on the updated language on Tuesday evening. While the language continues to be refined, sources indicate that the language is fairly similar to the leaked February 10 draft. Changes are widely expected to focus on the Medicaid program, the employer tax exclusion, cost-sharing, the insurance marketplace, reinsurance programs, and funding levels. There are conflicting reports on whether the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will provide a score of the language prior to committee markups. House Republicans hope to pass their reconciliation legislation by the end of March in order to send it to the Senate for a vote by April 7. Democrats are disappointed in the lack of transparency and have articulated the need to have adequate time to review the language prior to the committee markups.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, March 7: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Shaping the Future: Consolidating and Improving VA Community Care.”
  • Wednesday, March 8: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Public Witness Day.”
  • Wednesday, March 8: The Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Saving Lives Through Medical Research.”
  • Thursday, March 9: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Management Challenges at the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and the Social Security Administration: Views from the Inspectors General.”

Regulatory Activity

HRSA Releases Final Rule on 340B

On Thursday, March 2, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a final rule titled “340B Drug Pricing Program Ceiling Price and Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties.” The final rule sets the calculation of the 340B ceiling price and application of civil monetary penalties (CMPs) and will apply to all drug manufacturers that are required to make their drugs available to covered entities under the 340B Program. The effective date for the final rule is delayed until March 21, 2017 due to the regulatory freeze President Trump implemented shortly after taking office in January.