Congress remains in session this week. The Hill reports that the Senate majority leadership plans votes on four Trump cabinet members this week, including HHS Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price. Federal New Radio futher reports that Office of Management and Budget director nominee Rep. Michael Mulvaney was approved by the Senate Budget and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s last Thursday. The next stop for that important nomination is the Senate floor.
The Office of Management Budget is obligated to provide a final review of federal regulations before they can be published in the Federal Register, either as proposed or final. The review process is made public on the reginfo.gov website. Mark the tape because due to the regulatory freeze there are only two rules over at OMB right now, and one of them is an interim final rule to stabilize the ACA marketplace. Modern healthcare reports that
Edmund Haislmaier, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation who worked on President Donald Trump’s transition team on health policy matters, has not seen the rule but believes it aims to tighten eligibility standards for marketplace coverage and would make it harder for people to get coverage during a special enrollment period. Insurers say both issues are key to discouraging people from signing up when they realize they need costly medical services and then dropping coverage after they receive care.
The Wall Street Journal tells us that “A powerful House lawmaker [Rep. Greg Walden (R Ore.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee] said he would push for [bipartisan] legislation to stymie drug price-gouging by encouraging development of generic copies, after attending a meeting at the White House Tuesday with drug-company executives.” The article explains that
The bill seeks to encourage companies to introduce generic copies of drugs with high prices, because of shortages or lack of competition, by speeding up the copy’s review by the Food and Drug Administration. The agency is working through a backlog of generic-drug applications. As an additional incentive for companies to bring to market a generic rival for a high-priced drug, drugmakers would be eligible for a speedier review of another generic in their pipeline.
It makes sense to the FEHBlog.