The House this week is scheduled to vote on a series of bills related to health care taxes, including H.R. 184, which would repeal the medical device tax; and H.R. 6311 and H.R. 6199, which would expand health savings accounts and qualified medical expenses..
The House Committee on Ways and Means recently passed the three bills and another that will not be part of the full House vote this week: H.R. 4616, which would postpone for an additional year the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and the Cadillac tax. It is uncertain when H.R. 4616 will be brought to the House floor.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, H.R. 6378.
The bill reauthorizes the Hospital Preparedness Program at just less than $265 billion annually in funding for fiscal years 2019 through 2023. It also adds coalitions, state hospital associations, and health systems as eligible entities for partnership awards; allows grantees to use funds for health care surge capacity response activities; and expands the withholding period from one year to two years for failure to reach benchmarks, allowing time to repurpose funds.
Other Committee Activity
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a July 25 markup of multiple health care bills, including the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, S. 2554. The bill would ensure that health insurance issuers and group health plans do not prohibit pharmacy providers from offering enrollees information about the cost of prescriptions.
In addition, the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold multiple health care hearings this week:
- a July 25 hearing will examine advertising and marketing practices within the substance use treatment industry;
- a July 25 hearing will include updates on implementation of the 21st Century Cures legislation from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health; and
- a July 26 hearing will focus on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.
The Ways and Means Committee will hold a July 24 hearing on the opioid crisis and implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act.