Summary of Health Care Provisions in Energy & Commerce Reconciliation Bill

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved sweeping health care legislation as part of the Democratic Congress’ plan to enact a $3.5 trillion legislative package through budget reconciliation. The committee considered six subtitles that contained health-related legislation: Drug Pricing, Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare and Public Health . Notably, the committee did not approve the proposed drug pricing plan, which would allow for negotiation of drug prices in Medicare Part D, with three Democrats voting in opposition. This puts a signature piece of the Democrats’ proposal, which would save close to $500 billion to pay for other priorities, in peril.

The Energy and Commerce Committee legislation proposes to spend $190 billion for Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS), closing the Medicaid gap (no known score, estimated to be ~$300 billion), and $300 billion to expand Medicare benefits to include vision, dental and hearing. In order to offset this spending, they propose fully repealing the rebate rule, which will raise about $170 billion as well as prescription drug reforms that would save approximately $500 billion. While the Energy & Commerce Committee voted the drug provisions down, the House Ways and Means Committee adopted legislative recommendations containing identical language for drug pricing. This gives the drug provisions a path forward in the process, though it may not have enough support to ultimately pass the House. None of the costs or savings of the programs are official yet; the Congressional Budget Office will publish their estimates in upcoming weeks.

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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.

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