Legislative Update: Congressional Health Bills Draw Attention
New legislation was introduced to make drug price gouging a federal crime. Also, a measure is pending that seeks to make the upcoming Supreme Court term "must-see TV." The abortion battle will heat up again in a hearing scheduled today over the Prenatal NonDiscrimination Act.
The Associated Press: Bill Would Make Drug Price Gouging A Federal Crime
Price gouging on prescription drugs already in short supply would become a federal crime under legislation about to be introduced. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said he's proposing a bill that that would give the U.S. Department of Justice authority to crack down on "unscrupulous drug distributors" who sell hospitals life-saving prescription medicines in short supply at huge markups (Johnson, 12/6).
Roll Call: Bill Would Televise Supreme Court Hearings
Two Senators want to make the upcoming Supreme Court term must-see TV. As the nation's highest court prepares to hear high-profile cases on topics such as the health care law, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have introduced a bill to allow public Supreme Court proceedings to be televised. The Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts is scheduled to hold a hearing on the measure Tuesday. Grassley is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), a longtime advocate for televised court proceedings, is slated to testify (Sanchez, 12/5).
The Hill: Bill Would Require TV Cameras In Supreme Court
A bipartisan Senate bill introduced Monday would require cameras in the Supreme Court — a longstanding controversy that has heightened as the court prepares to consider President Obama's health care law. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the bill ahead of a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Nine Justices have a tremendous amount of influence on the lives of the people of this country, yet people know very little about the highest court in our country," Grassley said in a statement. "In fact, next year, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about a law that has the potential to impact every American" (Baker, 12/5).
Fox News: Abortion Battle Heats Up On The Hill
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., an outspoken pro-life advocate, is preparing to do battle again on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, he'll chair a House hearing in support of his latest legislative effort, the Prenatal NonDiscrimination Act (PreNDA). The measure would ban abortions done on the basis of gender or race. … The bill will be vetted during a hearing in the House on Tuesday, which is slated to include testimony from a number of experts. Franks says the bill currently has about 60 co-sponsors and he's hoping to add more. ... Critics say the bill has no chance of being passed this term. Even so, Franks says he hopes it will at least spark important conversations (Bream, 12/5).