Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

by BakerHostetler
Contact

Senate Leaders to Outline ACA Policy Options to GOP Lawmakers

Senate Republicans return to Washington this week after a 10-day recess facing a key inflection point in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as GOP leaders will outline policy options they hope can unify their fragmented caucus.

None of the options is a silver bullet, and each effort to appeal to one group of Republicans risks triggering new opposition from another. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces the seemingly herculean task of fashioning legislation that can satisfy at least 50 senators, allowing Vice President Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote to pass a repeal-and-replace bill. McConnell’s margin for error is narrow as Republicans hold 52 Senate seats.

Among the policy choices Republicans will begin weighing this week is postponing ACA repeal until 2020 to allow Congress additional time to draft an overhaul of the law. Under that plan, the Senate would provide additional subsidies to try to stabilize individual insurance premiums and to incentivize insurers to return to states they’ve abandoned. Most Republicans would likely view punting for two years as a viable alternative only to doing nothing.

Senators also will discuss slowing the phase out of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, in a nod to the 16 GOP governors who accepted federal funding to increase their programs. Several key Republican senators, led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), are working to protect their states’ expanded Medicaid programs, while other senators would support keeping the expanded programs but with lower federal contributions.

Other options include shoring up the insurance exchanges, but senators could get tripped up as they decide whether to include House-passed language that prohibits subsidies for insurance plans that include abortion coverage.

Some GOP senators say they need to keep – or delay the repeal of – the ACA’s taxes on providers and individuals. Those lawmakers say the tax revenue would be needed to finance new subsidies to insurers for covering patients with pre-existing conditions or for keeping expanded Medicaid coverage. But Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), in a speech on the Senate floor before the recess, warned of a political backlash if the party failed to repeal the ACA taxes after “spending the better part of a decade railing against Obamacare’s burdensome, job-killing taxes.”

McConnell wants a Senate vote on the GOP’s healthcare plan in June, but Republicans will be hard pressed to meet that deadline. Even after Republicans coalesce on the underlying policy – and they’re not close to doing that – the legislation will need to undergo a thorough analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Depending on how much Senate Republicans change the House-passed bill, that CBO review could take a week or longer.

The CBO analysis will be an important benchmark for the Senate parliamentarian, who will largely set the ground rules for how the healthcare bill will be debated on the Senate floor. Republicans are using a legislative procedure called budget reconciliation for their bill. The principal advantage of reconciliation is that the GOP can pass the bill with a simple majority, not the usual 60 votes needed to approve legislation.

The downside is that not every provision is eligible to be included in a reconciliation bill, which generally is confined to policies that have direct impact on government spending. So that means Republicans can repeal ACA taxes and subsidies but cannot include medical liability reform or provisions allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines. The nonpartisan parliamentarian effectively decides what’s in and what’s out, and overturning her rulings requires 60 votes.

Despite McConnell’s push for a vote before the scheduled Fourth of July recess, all signs point to a more likely timetable for a vote after that holiday and before the beginning of the month-long August recess.

Price to Face Budget Hot Seat on Capitol Hill

HHS Secretary Tom Price is expected to face double-barreled scrutiny Thursday when he testifies before two congressional tax-writing committees about his department’s fiscal 2018 budget request. Price will testify before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday morning and the House Ways and Means Committee that afternoon.

Lawmakers in both parties are expected to sharply question Price over the Trump administration’s budget proposal. It calls for sharp spending reductions for several healthcare agencies and programs, including NIH, FDA, CDC and substance abuse programs.

Trump’s budget would reduce future increases in Medicaid spending by $610 billion over 10 years. The federal government last year spent $368 billion on Medicaid, and even with its lower projected spending the Trump budget forecasts Medicaid spending will almost double in 10 years to $688 billion.

Republicans and Democrats have questioned Trump’s spending priorities, including for NIH and FDA. It’s unlikely many of Trump’s proposed healthcare spending cuts will find support in Congress.

Timing Unclear on Advancing FDA User Fee Bills

House and Senate leaders have not yet announced a timeline for considering separate legislation to reauthorize the user fees that drug and medical device companies pay to support FDA product reviews.

Senate leaders haven’t set a schedule for floor consideration as the Senate HELP Committee continues to try to strike a bipartisan agreement that would limit floor amendments. But there’s also worry that some Democrats may try to hijack the usually bipartisan user fee renewal because of Republicans’ separate effort on repealing the ACA.

In the House, the Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to hold a vote this week on its plan, although a formal notice had not been announced as of this morning.

The Trump administration is still pressing its plan to substantially increase industry user fees and ratchet down government spending for FDA. But the current five-year user fee plan expires Sept. 30, and key lawmakers in both parties have said there isn’t time to re-open the pending agreement, which FDA and industry representatives negotiated over nearly two years.

House GOP Questions Expansion of 340B Drug Discounts

The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week initiated an investigation of the 340B drug discount program, questioning whether the federal agency responsible for the program is effectively overseeing it.

The committee sent a letter last week to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), asking the agency to provide information on its fiscal 2015 and 2016 audits of hospitals and other covered providers. The letter was signed by committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-Texas), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

The lawmakers said they were “concerned about the 340B program’s rapid growth without additional and proportional oversight.” Sales of outpatient drugs under the 340B program more than doubled between 2010 and 2015 and expanded by 66 percent between 2013 and 2015 alone, the committee said. As of 2011, nearly a third of all U.S. hospitals participated in the program.

Although Congress in recent years has questioned whether hospitals and other participating facilities are appropriately using the 340B savings, the committee’s letter focused squarely on HRSA. The committee said the agency’s “lack of follow-up audits when it finds violations is troubling,” and the high rate of hospital noncompliance “indicates a need for additional oversight of this program.”

Panel to Examine Medicare Advantage Care Payment Models

The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday to review Medicare Advantage programs that serve high-cost, high-need beneficiaries with integrated care and value-based models. Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) said the committee is examining Special Needs Plans and other Medicare Advantage models like the Program for All-Inclusive Care. He said the panel is interested in new models that allow for increased flexibility and value-based insurance design focused on delivering integrated and coordinated care for seniors and people living with disabilities. The committee has not announced the names of the witnesses who will be testifying at the hearing.

Grassley: Mylan Overcharged Taxpayers

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) last week accused Mylan of “gaming the system” as he released an independent report that found taxpayers overpaid the company by $1.2 billion for its anti-allergy device EpiPen. The report, by the HHS inspector general, found Mylan had for years misclassified EpiPen as a generic drug rather than a brand-name product – allowing the company to bypass significant discounts it was required to pass on to Medicaid beneficiaries.

The company last year agreed to pay the government $465 million to settle claims that it overcharged taxpayers. Grassley had been critical of that arrangement, saying at the time the settlement was far short of the amount overcharged to taxpayers. The senator said he is continuing his review, including why CMS didn’t follow up with Mylan after the agency told the company it was misclassifying EpiPen as a generic drug.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© BakerHostetler | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

BakerHostetler
Contact
more
less

BakerHostetler on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.