U.S. House Poised For A Series Of Health-Related Votes
Included on the list is a bill to repeal the health law's medical device tax and another to repeal the OTC ban. The device-tax issue has already emerged as a hot topic in many congressional races.
Modern Healthcare: Refreshed Representatives Renew Reform Repeal
Refreshed after (another) brief recess, House members will return to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to a summer session that includes some significant healthcare votes. ... "Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare, we should all be able to agree on Erik Paulsen's (R-Minn.) bill to repeal the medical device tax and Lynn Jenkins' (R-Kan.) bill to repeal the OTC ban," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote in a memo to House Republicans that outlined the House's summer legislative agenda (Zigmond, 5/29).
Politico: Medical Device Tax Is Questioned
A controversial health care reform tax due to go into effect next year has become a prominent issue in a number of House and Senate races throughout the country (Haberkorn, 5/30).
Also in the news, work continues on the FDA bill -
The Hill: Revised FDA Bill Would Cut Deficit By $370 Million
House Republicans have changed their Food and Drug Administration bill enough to get a positive score from the Congressional Budget Office. The FDA bill is set for a floor vote this week. A new CBO analysis says the amended bill would reduce the deficit by $370 million over the next decade. The version that passed the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month would have added nearly $250 million to the deficit, according to CBO (Baker, 5/29).
The New York Times: Drug Maker Seeks Protection Within Bill Favoring Generics
One of the few bills moving through Congress with bipartisan support this spring would speed government approval of lower-cost generic copies of brand-name drugs. But one company, with help from an influential former congressman, is lobbying to protect its most lucrative brand-name product against generic competition and appears to have had some success in the House, potentially altering the bill to make it more favorable for the company (Pear, 5/29).
Meanwhile, the Social Security disability program's trust fund is hitting the skids -
Bloomberg: Congress Unwilling To Address Disability Plan's Shortfall
A U.S. government entitlement program is headed for insolvency in four years, and it's not the one members of Congress are talking about most. The Social Security disability program's trust fund is projected to run out of cash far sooner than the better-known Social Security retirement plan or Medicare. That will trigger a 21 percent cut in benefits to 11 million Americans -- disabled people, their spouses and children -- many of whom rely on the program to stay out of poverty (Faler, 5/29).