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On the Hill: Appropriations, 21st Century Cures, Medicare

This week defense authorization and late-term abortion legislation are the top considerations on the House floor. House appropriators continue negotiations to bring remaining fiscal year 2016 spending bills to the floor. In the Senate, trade legislation is the top priority this week. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are lobbying Congress and the Obama administration to attach language extending the 12-year data exclusivity period for biologic drugs to the trade bill. The exclusivity period allows biopharmaceutical manufacturers to produce drugs exclusively before sharing data that would enable other manufacturers to create similar drugs. The administration supports a seven-year exclusivity period.

In committee business, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce marks up its 21st Century Cures legislation. The committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a legislative hearing on the measure before last week’s district work period. In the Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ work on a similar initiative, called Healthier Americans, may not be introduced until next year, despite recent hearings to review some of the same issues addressed in the House proposal. The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing Thursday on improving care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions. Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will testify.

 

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About the Author

Jocelyn Wiles is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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