Ways and Means Committee Markup Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Chairman Ryan (R-WI) of the Ways and Means Committee announced a full committee markup of ten healthcare related bills for Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 10:15am. Several of these bills have received significant bipartisan support – the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160) and Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 1190) each have over 230 cosponsors (only 218 votes are needed to pass the full House). In addition, two others – the Steve Gleason Act (S. 984) and the Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act (S. 971) have already passed in the Senate. The remaining bills were introduced within the last few weeks and are Ways and Means Member priorities. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has also included H.R. 160, H.R. 1190, H.R. 2505, H.R. 2506, H.R. 2507, and H.R. 2579 in the House agenda for the week of June 15 – 18. In addition, the Majority Leader indicated potential full House consideration of the Value Based Insurance Design for Better Care Act of 2015 (H.R. 2570) and the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) – which were not included in the Ways and Means markup announcement. Much of H.R. 2570 was included in H.R. 2581 introduced by Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) which is on the Ways and Means Markup schedule. Senate Bills Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 971) Provides for an extension of the agreements under the Medicare independence at home medical practice demonstration program from three years to five years. Introduced by Senators Wyden (D-OR), Markey (D-MA), Bennet (D-CO), Isakson (R-GA), and Burr (R-NC) on April 16, 2015. The Senate Finance Committee discharged the bill by unanimous consent on April 22, 2015 and the full Senate passed the bill the same day by voice vote. Steve Gleason Act of 2015 (S. 984) Provides Medicare beneficiaries access to eye tracking accessories for speech generating devices and removes the Medicare durable medical equipment (DME) rental cap for speech generating devices. Introduced by Senators Vitter (R-LA), King (I-ME), and 5 bipartisan cosponsors on April 16, 2015. The bill passed the Senate six days later on April 22, 2015. An identical House bill was introduced on April 21, 2015 by Representatives McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Scalise (R-LA). The House legislation currently has 19 cosponsors (10 Republicans and 9 Democrats). House Bills Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015 (H.R. 160) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers which was part of the financing structure of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Introduced by Representatives Paulsen (R-MN), Kind (D-WI), and over 240 bipartisan cosponsors on January 6, 2015. The bill currently has 281 cosponsors (241 Republicans and 40 Democrats). 1 Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015 (H.R. 1190) Repeals the sections of the ACA that implement the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Introduced by Representatives Roe (R-TN), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and over 200 bipartisan cosponsors on March 2, 2015. The bill currently has 232 cosponsors (212 Republicans and 20 Democrats). Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act of 2015 (H.R. 2505) Requires greater transparency by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to annually report on enrollment data in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Introduced by Representatives Kelly (R-PA), Bilirakis (R-FL), and Kind (D-WI) on May 21, 2015. Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 2506) Delays the authority to terminate MA contracts for plans failing to achieve minimum quality ratings under the Medicare Advantage STARS rating system – allowing seniors to choose and keep the plan that fits their needs. Introduced by Representatives Buchanan (R-FL), Blackburn (R-TN), and Rangel (D-NY) on May 21, 2015. Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act of 2015 (H.R. 2507) Expands an annual regulatory schedule for MA payment rates so that stakeholders have the necessary time to review and provide feedback to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality low-cost plans of their choosing. Introduced by Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Pitts (R-PA), and Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Member Mike Thompson (D-CA) on May 21, 2015. Securing Care for Seniors Act of 2015 (H.R. 2579) Requires CMS to reevaluate and as appropriate make changes to the MA risk adjustment model to ensure that it is accurate, evidence-based and transparent so seniors can maintain the choice and access to low-cost quality plans. The legislation also includes a Sense of Congress regarding ongoing efforts to reform the Medicare Advantage STARS program. Introduced by Representatives Black (R-TN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Guthrie (R-KY), and Loebsack (D-IA) on May 29, 2015. LTCH Technical Correction Act of 2015 (H.R. 2580) Provides for a technical change to the Medicare long-term care hospital moratorium exception included in the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 and Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. The bill also modifies the Medicare long-term care hospital outlier payment policies. Introduced by Representative Boustany (R-LA) on May 29, 2015. The moratorium adjustment portion of the bill is identical to H.R. 441, introduced by Representative Boustany on January 21, 2015. Preservation of Access for Seniors in Medicare Advantage Act of 2015 (H.R. 2581) Creates a three year demonstration program for MA plans that meet certain criteria that would reduce or eliminate copays, coinsurance, or both on certain medications for treatment of chronic conditions. It would also require the completion of an independent analysis of the MA demonstration program with a report to Congress, increase the opportunities for MA beneficiaries to alter their MA plan choice within the first few months after selection, and change the payment structure (through January 1, 2017) for infusion and biologic drug treatments. o This bill incorporates H.R. 2570, introduced by Congresswoman Black (R-TN). Introduced by Ways and Means Committee Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) on May 29, 2015. Other Legislation The Value Based Insurance Design for Better Care Act of 2015 (H.R. 2570) Establishes a demonstration program that removes barriers and allows plans to innovate and incentivize high-value care that promotes better health outcomes though varying their plan benefits based on beneficiary population. o Incorporated in its entirety in H.R. 2581. Introduced by Representatives Black (R-TN), Blumenauer (D-OR), and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on May 22, 2015. The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) A far reaching bill that reforms the clinical trial process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), increases funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and makes several reforms to the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the bill (51-0) on May 21, 2015. The Ways and Means Committee is expected to markup the legislation as well. After over a year of hearings and bipartisan negotiations, the legislation was introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Upton (R-MI), Energy and Commerce Committee Member DeGette (D-CO), Energy and Commerce Full Committee Ranking Member Pallone (DNJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) on May 19, 2015. The bill quickly gained 54 cosponsors (26 Republicans and 28 Democrats).
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