House GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote
House Republicans on Monday unveiled a measure aimed at lowering drug prices, casting it as a bipartisan alternative to the sweeping bill that Democrats plan to vote on this week.
Republicans said they designed their measure to include only policies that both parties can agree to, saying Congress could pass their bipartisan bill rather than the Democratic legislation, which is expected to pass on a largely party-line vote.
The Republican legislation is significantly smaller-scale than the Democratic bill. It does not include anything that Republicans deem “price controls” for drugs, which the GOP argues would hinder the development of new treatments.
The Democratic bill, in contrast, would limit drug prices based on the prices paid in other countries and allow for the government to negotiate lower prices, both ideas opposed by House Republicans.
Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenOvernight Health Care — Presented by That’s Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Obstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills House GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote MORE (Ore.), the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the GOP bill would “bring down the cost of medicines while not upending the incredible innovation that’s centered here in the U.S.”
The measure is also sponsored by Reps. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyBottom line House GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-Texas), Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxHouse GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote Democrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps House passes bill tackling workplace violence in health care, social services sectors MORE (R-N.C.) and Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP lawmaker closes: Impeachment a ‘scam,’ Judiciary a ‘rubber stamp’ Tempers flare at tense Judiciary hearing on impeachment Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of ‘improper pressure’ in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ga.), the top Republicans on other committees that oversee health care.
Given Democratic control of the House, the Republican bill is not expected to pass, but it does provide a marker for some policies that could be agreeable to both parties and could be included in larger packages like government funding measures.
The bill includes a range of measures, such as capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare, cracking down on tactics drug companies use to delay competition from cheaper generic drugs and requiring drug companies to submit justifications to the government for large price hikes.
While the pharmaceutical industry is far more opposed to the Democratic bill, there are some provisions in the Republican bill that the industry opposes as well, such as a provision requiring drug prices to be listed in TV advertisements for drugs.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE is supporting a bipartisan drug pricing bill in the Senate from Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBottom line Graham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a ‘criminal conspiracy’ House GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (D-Ore.), but House Republicans oppose a key provision of that deal.
That provision would require drug companies to pay money back to Medicare if their prices rose faster than the rate of inflation. Many Republicans view that as a “price control,” but Wyden and Democrats say that provision is crucial to the bipartisan deal.
Walden said Monday he is “not a fan” of that provision because it is “government-run price controls,” but he noted there are many other areas of overlap between the House Republican bill and the Grassley-Wyden legislation.
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