POLICY BRIEFINGS


HHS Promotes PPACA's Reduction of Medicare Beneficiary Drug Costs


HHS announced that, as a result of provisions under the health reform law to close the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole”, 3.6 million beneficiaries will pay $2.1 billion less in 2011, or about $604 per beneficiary.  HHS also projected that the PPACA will save each Medicare beneficiary about $4,200 between 2011 and 2021 through drug discounts, subsidies, no-cost preventive services, slower growth in Medicare Part B premiums and slower growth in cost sharing under Medicare Part A and Part B.


MA Premiums Decrease


HHS announced that the average premium charged for Medicare Advantage coverage will decrease to $31.54 in 2012 from $33.97 in 2011.  The HHS Secretary also said that MA enrollment is also likely to increase between 10-15% in 2012.


FDA on PDUFA and Adviser Rules


At a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, the FDA Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, testified that current conflict-of-interest rules applicable to advisers on FDA boards should not be changed or eased.  Amid congressional concerns over the selection process, she said that the waiver process is adequate to obtain enough advisers who are free from conflict.  The Commissioner also pledged to work with Congress to reauthorize Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) and to make prescription drugs safer.  The proposed FDA/industry agreement on new user fees is projected to raise $713 million in FY 2013 which the commissioner said would support the timely review of critical prescription drugs; advance the development of drugs for rare diseases; provide for enhanced communication with small or emerging companies; increase the use of standardized electronic data to improve quality and efficiency; and foster the use of new clinical endpoints that improve drug development times and help address unmet medical needs.  In related news, Senator Charles Grassley has written the FDA Commissioner asking whether the agency has terminated or punished employees who he says have expressed safety concerns to Congress about radiological devices.


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


S. 2403 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to provide religious conscience protections for individuals and organizations; RUBIO; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Jan. 30.

H.R. 3839 (DRUG SHORTAGES), to address critical drug shortages; CARNEY; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary, Jan. 31.

H.R. 3844 (FEDERAL BUDGET), to provide for greater transparency and honesty in the federal budget process; ROBY; jointly, to the committees on the Budget, Rules, and Oversight and Government Reform, Jan. 31.

H.R. 3847 (MEDICAL DEVICES), to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure that a medical device is not marketed based on a determination that the device is substantially equivalent to a predicate device that has been recalled, corrected, or removed from the market because of an intrinsic flaw in technology or design that adversely affects safety, and for other purposes; MARKEY; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Jan. 31.

H. RES. 531 (CANCER AWARENESS), recognizing the 40th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971 and the more than 12 million survivors of cancer alive today because of the commitment of the United States to cancer research and advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment; ISRAEL; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Jan. 31.

S. 2057 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise cardiac, intensive cardiac, and pulmonary rehabilitation programs; SCHUMER; to the Committee on Finance, Feb. 1.

H.R. 3859 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to protect and preserve access of Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas to health care providers under Medicare, and for other purposes; MCMORRIS RODGERS; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Feb. 1.

H.R. 3862 (FEDERAL CONSENT DECREES/SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS), to impose certain limitations on consent decrees and settlement agreements by agencies that require the agencies to take regulatory action in accordance with the terms thereof, and for other purposes; QUAYLE; to the Committee on the Judiciary, Feb. 1.

S. 2067 (MEDICAL DEVICES), to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to medical device regulation, and for other purposes; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Feb. 2.

S. 2068 (HEALTH INSURANCE), to amend Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to preserve consumer and employer access to licensed independent insurance producers; LANDRIEU; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Feb. 2.

S. 2069 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to speed American innovation in research and drug development for the leading causes of death that are the most costly chronic conditions for our nation, to save American families and the federal and state governments money, and to help family caregivers; MIKULSKI; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Feb. 2.

H.R. 3884 (EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDERS), to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide grants to state emergency medical service departments to provide for the expedited training and licensing of veterans with prior medical training, and for other purposes; CAPPS; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Feb. 2.

H.R. 3887 (EARLY RETIREES INSURANCE PROGRAM), to provide increased funding for the reinsurance for early retirees program; HOLT; jointly, to the committees on Education and the Workforce and Energy and Commerce, Feb. 2.

H.R. 3891 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to speed American innovation in research and drug development for the leading causes of death that are the most costly chronic conditions for our nation, to save American families and the federal and state governments money, and to help family caregivers; MARKEY; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Feb. 2.



February 6, 2012: | Page 1 Page 2

SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2018


 +  2017


 +  2016


 +  2015


 +  2014


 +  2013


 +  2012


 +  2011