The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.HEADLINES

• BakerHostetler on Tuesday will host our 30th Annual Legislative Seminar, with members of the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle discussing the current policy and political environment.

• NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday will address a joint meeting of Congress.

• Congress is caught up in partisan sniping over how to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and disaster relief funding levels for Puerto Rico and other regions. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session.

GOTTLIEB, HARGAN TO TESTIFY ON 2020 HEALTH BUDGET, PROGRAMS

Outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and the No. 2 official at HHS will be on Capitol Hill this week testifying on the Trump administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 healthcare programs.

Gottlieb will be before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees FDA’s congressional appropriations.

HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan will testify Tuesday before the House Budget Committee on the department’s fiscal 2020 budget request. Committee Democrats – who have called the department’s budget “cruel” – are expected to question Hargan on proposed cuts to discretionary programs as well as mandatory health programs such as Medicaid.

Earlier this month, HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified before three congressional committees defending President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget for his department.

Congress is under no obligation to approve the president’s budget proposal – and lawmakers never do, regardless of who’s in the White House. Instead it’s mostly a starting point for later spending negotiations. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published each week when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

•  Washington is consumed with reaction to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the Justice Department, as President Donald Trump claims exoneration and Democrats demand release of Mueller’s full report.

•  The House will vote whether to override Trump’s veto of a resolution negating his declaration of an emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.

•  Trump will host meetings at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and will honor the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. Continue Reading

Senate Bill Would Force Company Cyber Disclosure on SEC Filings

Amid growing alarm on Capitol Hill over cybersecurity and data privacy, new Senate legislation would require publicly traded companies to disclose in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings whether they have cybersecurity experts on their boards of directors – and if not, explain why.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said his legislation is meant to encourage companies to be more transparent about whether and how their boards and senior management are prioritizing cybersecurity.

His bill – the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act – picked up support from several key lawmakers, such as Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., one of the Senate’s leading voices on cyber policies and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee. It also enjoys Republican support, with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and John Kennedy, R-La., signed on as co-sponsors. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session. Highlights this week: Azar testifies before three committees on HHS’ budget; a series of Senate bills targeting pharma introduced; medical device tax repeal legislation introduced – but only in the Senate; outpatient physicians plan to lobby on Part B reimbursements; and more. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published each week when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

•  The Trump administration will release its fiscal year 2020 budget request, a largely symbolic document that demonstrates the president’s policy priorities but won’t be enacted by Congress.

•  The Senate is likely to approve a House-passed resolution blocking Trump’s emergency declaration along the U.S.-Mexico border, setting up what would be the first veto of his presidency.

•  Congressional committees continue their busy pace, including hearings on the budget as well as on net neutrality, the financial services industry and chemical facility safety. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session. Highlights this week: PBMs next in Senate committee’s crosshairs; lawmakers continue scrutiny on insulin prices; bill introduction suspending medical device tax delayed; Grassley renews nursing home abuse inquiry; more committees hold more drug pricing hearings; and more.

Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Washington D.C. The capitol, the seat of the government of the United States.Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published each week when Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• The House will take up H.R. 1, a broad measure addressing voting rights, campaign finance and government ethics laws.

• Michael Cohen, the former attorney for President Donald Trump, continues his behind-closed-doors testimony at the House Intelligence Committee.

• Congressional committees continue intense scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry.

Continue Reading

Finger-pointing but few fireworks at Senate hearing on drug prices

Amid finger-pointing but few real fireworks, the seven pharmaceutical executives testifying before the Senate Finance Committee today offered lawmakers a spirited defense of the industry but also substantive policy concessions to address drug prices. They avoided gaffes and left the industry in no worse a political position than before the hearing.

Democrats predictably were unsatisfied, and several Republicans appeared open to considering changes to patents, Medicare Part D and other policies. While the executives largely escaped the hearing without adding to the industry’s challenges on the Hill, pharma remains in bipartisan lawmakers’ legislative crosshairs. The industry hasn’t faced this level of legislative risk since 2009, when Democrats controlled the Congress and the White House and began to push what became known as the Affordable Care Act. Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session. Highlights this week: Pharma industry CEOs testify before a Senate committee; House and Senate panels probe insulin prices; medical device tax suspension bills to be introduced; Gottlieb to testify before House panel; and more.

Continue Reading

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