Legislative Update: June 25, 2019

Congress is scheduled to adjourn for a one-week recess at the end of this week.  Leading up to this recess, policymakers are focused on making progress on key health care initiatives. 

On Wednesday, June 26th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a legislative markup on the “Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895)”. This legislation aims to end “surprise” medical billing by ensuring patients pay no more than the in-network rate for emergency and ancillary, out-of-network services. The legislation also includes policies to increase prescription drug price transparency and a host of public health provisions. The legislative text for this proposal can be found here.

Also on Wednesday, the House Ways&Means Committee will consider legislation related to Medicare payment policies that are set to expire at the end of the fiscal and calendar year. A copy of this legislation can be found here.

Finally, the Senate Finance Committee continues to develop a set of policies that aim to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. It is unclear when the Committee will release a legislative proposal, but work on the effort is expected to continue into the coming weeks.

Finally, on June 12th, the House Energy&Commerce Committee passed with bipartisan support the “Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Workers Act (H.R. 1309)”. This legislation would direct the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) to issue new standards requiring employers to write and implement workplace prevention plans to prevent and protect health care employees. This legislation is now eligible for consideration by the full House. ElevatingHOME and VNAA strongly support this legislative effort. More information on the legislation can be found here.