Archives: Committee Approval

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Pending Trade Legislation Would Extend Medicare Sequestration

The House and Senate are considering trade legislation that would be financed in part by $700 million from extended Medicare sequestration authority – much to the consternation of the health care provider community. By way of background, under the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014” (PAMA), Congress “front-loaded” the Medicare reimbursement cuts under the … Continue Reading

House Approves “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act”

On April 21, 2015, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation would clarify the Controlled Substances Act to establish consistent enforcement standards intended to protect against diversion while promoting patient access to medically-necessary controlled substances. … Continue Reading

Two Health Policy Laws Enacted, Additional Bills Advance

On August 8, 2014, President Obama signed into law the following two bills approved by the Senate in July: H.R. 4631, the Autism CARES Act, to continue federal research, early identification and intervention, and education related to autism; and H.R. 3548, the Improving Trauma Care Act, to include in the Public Health Service Act definition … Continue Reading

House Panel Approves Bipartisan SGR Reform Bill

On July 23, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved legislation to repeal the Medicare physician fee schedule SGR formula and replace it with a period of stable payment followed by reimbursement linked to quality of care. In the first phase, the legislation would set the fee schedule update for each of years 2014 … Continue Reading

House Panel Approves Changes to Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP), Medical Loss Ratio Rules

On September 20, 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved by voice vote H.R. 1063, the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act. The legislation would make a series of procedural changes to MSP rules intended to “speed up the process of returning money to the Medicare Trust Fund while reducing costly legal barriers … Continue Reading

House Committee Approves Health Legislation

On July 28, 2010, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a variety of health policy bills, including the following: H.R. 903, the “Dental Emergency Responder Act of 2010” (amended); H.R. 1745, the “Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2010” (amended); H.R. 2923, the “Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act of 2010”, H.R. 3199, the “Emergency Medic … Continue Reading

House Committee Approves Health Legislation

On July 28, 2010, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a variety of health policy bills, including the following: H.R. 903, the “Dental Emergency Responder Act of 2010” (amended); H.R. 1745, the “Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2010” (amended); H.R. 2923, the “Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act of 2010”, H.R. 3199, the “Emergency Medic … Continue Reading

Generic Drug Competition

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 369, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act, which generally would prohibit brand name drug companies from compensating generic drug companies to delay the entry of a generic drug into the market. As approved by the Committee, the bill would allow certain settlement agreements between drug companies if they … Continue Reading

House Panel Approves Bill to End Insurance Anti-Trust Protections

The House Judiciary Committee has passed H.R. 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009. H.R. 3596 would prohibit companies that provide health and medical malpractice insurance from price fixing, bid rigging, or allocating markets while providing coverage for health insurance or medical malpractice claims. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the legislation would … Continue Reading

Medical Isotopes Production

On October 21, 2009, the House Commerce Committee approved H.R. 3276, the American Medical Isotopes Production Act. The legislation is intended to provide the Department of Energy with new authority and funding to assist private sector projects to establish a steady domestic supply of the medical isotope molybdenum-99.  … Continue Reading

Whistleblower Protection, Improper Payments Legislation Advances

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved S. 372, the "Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009." Among other things, the Committee-approved bill would: clarify that federal employees are protected for disclosure of waste, fraud, or abuse made as part of an employee’s job duties; clarify that whistleblowers may disclose evidence of censorship of scientific … Continue Reading

Senate HELP Committee Approves Bill; Finance Committee Stalls

On July 15, 2009, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved its health reform plan, the “Affordable Health Choices Act,” on a party-line 13-to-10 vote. The major features of the legislation are summarized in a previous posting. Note that the HELP Committee does not have jurisdiction over Medicare or Medicaid; provisions impacting those … Continue Reading

Status of House Tri-Committee Bill

As previously reported, on June 17, 2009, the chairmen of the three House committees that share jurisdiction over health policy released a “discussion draft” of their comprehensive health reform plan. A revised version of the bill, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200), was unveiled on July 14, 2009. In short, the legislation would: create … Continue Reading

Senate HELP Committee Approves Health Reform Legislation

On July 15, 2009, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved its health reform plan, the "Affordable Health Choices Act," on a party-line 13-to-10 vote. In addition to significant insurance reforms, including a public health plan option, the legislation addresses a variety of other health policy issues, such as health care quality, health care workforce issues, preventive care, chronic care management, and a regulatory approval process for follow-on biologicals.… Continue Reading

Tobacco Regulation

On May 20, 2009, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved an amended version of S. 982, the "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” which would provide the FDA with certain authority to regulate tobacco products.  … Continue Reading

False Claims Act Enforcement

On March 5, 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of S.386, the "Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act." Among other things, the bill would “clarify” that the False Claims Act was intended to extend to any false or fraudulent claim for government money or property, whether or not the claim is presented to a … Continue Reading

House Panel Approves Tobacco Regulation and Other Health Measures

On March 4, 2009, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the following health policy bills: H.R. 1256: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; H.R. 1259, the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2009; H.R. 1246, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2009; H.R. 1253, the Health Insurance Restrictions and Limitations Clarification Act of 2009; … Continue Reading

Committee Markups

On September 10, 2008, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amended version of S. 1070, the “Elder Justice Act of 2008.”  The legislation includes a number of provisions aimed at protecting residents of nursing facilities, including a requirement that crimes occurring in federally-funded long-term care facilities be reported to law enforcement agencies; increased funding for … Continue Reading

Health IT Legislation

On July 23, 2008, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved H.R. 6357, the “Protecting Records, Optimizing Treatment, and Easing Communication through Healthcare Technology Act of 2008.” The legislation seeks to promote nationwide adoption of a Health Information Technology (HIT) infrastructure and encourage the use of an electronic health record for each person in the United … Continue Reading

Nursing Home Arbitration

On July 15, 2008, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law approved H.R. 6126, the “Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2008,” which would render unenforceable pre-dispute arbitration agreements between long-term care facilities and a residents.  The full Committee approved an amended version of the bill July 30.  The Senate Judiciary Committee is … Continue Reading

False Claims Act Amendments

On July 16, 2008, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 4854,  the "False Claims Act Correction Act of 2007.” In addition to making technical amendments, the legislation addresses several judicial decisions that the bill’s sponsors believe have weakened the False Claims Act. During Committee markup, the panel amended the bill to drop a provision authorizing government employees … Continue Reading
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