This week in Washington: House passes budget resolution with compromise, setting up a September deadline for infrastructure bill vote.
House Passes Budget Resolution
On Aug. 24, the House voted 220-212 to pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution and also advanced a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The vote allows Democrats to write and approve the spending package without Republican support. This vote came after House leadership compromised with centrist Democrats by agreeing to a Sept. 27 deadline for the infrastructure bill vote. The reconciliation instructions make way for health care measures such as extending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits, expanding Medicare benefits and closing the Medicaid coverage gap. The resolution assumes these measures will be paid for by drug pricing reforms.
Reps. Kuster and McKinley Request a New Formulary Tier for Generics and Biosimilars
On Aug. 25, Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and David McKinley (R-WV) wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting the creation of a preferred formulary tier just for generics and biosimilars. In addition, the representatives asked CMS to set a lower coinsurance for the specialty generic and biosimilar tier, and that brand drugs be prohibited from the specialty tier. The letter can be found here.
Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.