As House leadership seeks to quickly pass broad legislation that would bolster price transparency and oversight across the health care system, the Energy & Commerce Committee will meet Tuesday (Sept. 19) to discuss a slew of additional drug pricing policies and reforms for pharmacy benefit managers that weren’t tucked into the larger tri-committee package sent to the House floor. Joel White spoke with Inside Drug Policy’s Gabrielle Wanneh about what bills the Committee will be looking at and the timeline lawmakers will follow.
While the PATIENT Act, a bill the Energy & Commerce Committee passed in May that has measures included in the larger health transparency bill, dealt primarily with transparency around PBM services in the commercial market, the bills the committee is looking at this week deal more with specific payment issues and public programs, according to Council for Affordable Health Coverage President Joel White.
The upcoming hearing falls in line with the process the committee has been using to vet issues, flag concerns, tweak language and work towards bipartisan legislation that can be presented to the full committee — first starting with a hearing, then a subcommittee markup before the entire committee votes on whether to pass new legislation, White says.
White told Inside Drug Pricing this method of legislative action has been effective and has afforded E&C chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) the ability to move major health bills on a bipartisan basis.