Lawmakers May Scale Back Medicare Drug Changes In Spending Bill In A Win For Pharma Lobbyists
The original provision shifted a chunk of Medicare drug costs onto drugmakers and away from insurers' responsibility.
Congress May Aid Drug Industry By Retreating On Medicare Change
Congress could scale back in the omnibus spending bill a recent change to Medicare drug payments, a key Senate appropriator said Tuesday. If Congress acts, it would be heeding drug company lobbyists' calls to reverse changes lawmakers enacted just last month. The Congressional Budget Office has determined that a provision in the budget deal last month (PL 115-123) that increased how much funding drugmakers provide for drugs in the Medicare Part D prescription program would actually save more than the $8 billion the nonpartisan analysts initially projected, said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Lawmakers may revise that provision so that new language would result in only $8 billion of savings, Blunt said. (McIntire, 3/13)
Doughnut Hole Policy Likely To Change In Omnibus
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee, said CBO “has become convinced” it underestimated the savings the government would see under a policy change in last month's budget caps deal that addressed the Medicare Part D coverage gap. The multi-billion dollar change required manufacturers to pay more of patients' branded drug costs. (Haberkorn, 3/13)