The shutdown is over for now and Congress is hitting the ground running this week. Most priorities have been on standby with the shutdown taking center stage, so this week in a sense represents the first week of the 116th Congress. On Tuesday, there will be dueling hearings on prescription drug prices in the House Oversight Committee and Senate Finance. Both hearings will offer a preview into the direction and intensity at which both committees will pursue reforms in this arena.
It’s important to remember that drug pricing is an issue on the minds of both Republican and Democratic voters. What is said during the hearing will be important in determining where Congress goes on drug pricing. Do Democratic talking points overlap in any way that is workable with Republican talking points? If so, we should be on the lookout for potential legislation. Another important item to keep in mind is that even if rhetoric is high during the hearings, there might still be areas for negotiations behind closed doors. Pay close attention to what members say and ask for clues.
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