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On the Hill: Opioid Package Stalled in Senate

Opioid legislation has stalled in the Senate, and it is increasingly likely the chamber won’t hold a vote by Labor Day, as previously planned.

The package has been delayed by the upcoming debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and ongoing discussions regarding what will be included in the final legislation. It is  unclear whether senators will pass H.R. 6, the House legislation that was passed last month, or craft their own version.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate likely will consider the package after the August recess. The House officially is in recess for August, but the Senate remains in session this week. Senators will take an abbreviated week-long recess beginning Aug. 6, before returning for the remainder of the month.

Other Congressional Activity

Meanwhile, the House last week passed two bills, H.R. 6311 and H.R. 6199, that would expand health savings accounts and qualified medical expenses.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) advanced several 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.

The HELP Committee also will hold a July 31 hearing on reducing health care costs and decreasing administrative spending.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.