Spun off from the ailing but not-quite-dead Build Back Better legislation, a popular proposal to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month faces tough political realities that could kill it.
After a years-long bitter partisan fight over reforming the U.S. Postal Service’s finances and service, congressional leaders say they have a compromise. The bill, which has won endorsements from both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, would force future Postal Service retirees to use Medicare as their primary source of health coverage.
The Health and Human Services secretary says the administration has heard complaints from doctors and hospitals about the rules it unveiled for implementing the law to end surprise medical bills. But he says providers who have exploited a complicated system to charge exorbitant rates will have to bear their share of the cost — or close.
Congress last year shielded consumers from unexpected out-of-network charges, but hospitals and doctors have decried the arbitration plan put forward by the Biden administration for negotiating these bills as favoring insurers. More than 150 members of the House agree.
A last-minute agreement among lawmakers restored a provision seeking to hold down rising costs of prescription medicines. Although details on which drugs will be targeted remain sketchy, the legislation would help patients buying insulin and cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 a year.
La nueva legislación bajaría dramáticamente el precio de la insulina, y lograría que el impacto de los precios astronómicos no recaigan en el consumidor.
The New York City Fire Department’s 20-year report on the health consequences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks finds that first responders consistently report mental health quality-of-life indicators that are better than those of average Americans, even as their physical health declines.
The Medicare rule, designed by the Trump administration to take money away from drug industry brokers and provide refunds to patients, has not been implemented. But budget analysts say if it were, it would cost the government money. So senators are pushing the rule aside and claiming to save billions of dollars, which they want to use instead on new projects.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is helping to negotiate the health care spending framework for the Democrats’ budget plan, said lawmakers may have to settle for very basic versions of programs deployed in the package. But the key, he added, is to get the “architecture of these changes, bold changes,” started and show people what is possible.
The plan from high-wire negotiations would affect five key areas of health, but there will be further tense negotiations among Democratic lawmakers about specifics of the $3.5 trillion in funding. And all Senate Democrats will need to be behind the plan, because Republicans oppose it.