Health Care – GOP Targets Democratic Drug Pricing Act

National Gallery of Art now Down to three plates By Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer – of “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” fame – even though they didn’t have four to begin with.

In health news, Senate Republicans are looking to repeal the Democrats’ drug pricing act, citing the potential for higher drug costs.

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we keep track of the latest political moves and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Nathaniel Wexel and Joseph Choi. Subscribe here.

Senate Republican Bill Repeals Drug Pricing Act

Senate Republicans on Friday introduced a bill that would roll back drug-pricing reforms included in the Comprehensive Inflation Cut Act, including measures that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and restrict annual drug expenditures for many seniors.

  • Republican Senators James Lankford (Oklah), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Loomis (Utah), and Marco Rubio (Florida) introduced the Drug Innovation Protection Act Friday, saying they want to withdraw government authority over Medicare-covered drug prices.
  • “Prescription drug prices are too high for many important drugs, which indicates the need for more competition and more choice for consumers,” said Lankford, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, He said in a statement.

Energizing: The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s history. It put a cap of $2,000 out of pocket on annual drug costs for Medicare seniors, plus $35 a month for a co-pay for insulin.

If passed, the Lankford bill would say it would make the drug pricing measures contained in the Inflation Reduction Act “never enacted.”

White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre criticized the bill on Twitter, saying it puts “private interests before working families”.

“Their new bill is a boon to Big Pharma at the expense of seniors by ending Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug prices,” said Jean-Pierre. “Their vision of the country is extreme and disconnected from working families across the country.”

Read more here.

Democrats look to keep abortion front and center

Democrats are seeking to keep abortion in the headlines ahead of the midterm elections in an effort to keep it on top of voters’ concerns as they seek to retain control of the House and Senate.

Their strategy comes as Republicans try to steer focus to crime, the economy and immigration, all topics Democrats would like to avoid before November.

But that’s also happening as Republicans continue to produce news on the issue themselves.

  • Recently, a surprising report claimed that the Republican candidate for the Senate, Herschel Walker, paid for a woman’s abortion.
  • It came on the heels of tensions that erupted into the open after Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C) introduced legislation to ban abortion for 15 weeks, sparking fears by some Republicans that he was shooting his party before November.

Winning case: Abortion is an issue that Democrats believe will play well with suburban women, a key voting demographic in a number of swing states. a Reuters-Ipsos Poll On Wednesday, it showed the group favoring Democrats over Republicans on the issue by 40 percent to 24 percent.

Meanwhile, the White House and Democrats continue to crush Graham’s legislation, highlighting the challenges of Republican messaging on the issue.

  • At a fundraising event for the Democratic National Committee late last month, President Biden Club Graham’s bill for no exceptions for rape or incest.
  • “I’m a devout Catholic,” Biden said. “My church doesn’t even make that argument.”

Read more here.

How midterm elections could affect the response to the virus

National status of public health emergency The COVID-19 Pandemic May Expire, and the White House Covid Team Can Get It phase out As early as mid-2023.

By then, there may be new governors in office from the midterm elections. State legislatures may also experience a wave of change as seats are opened and filled. Experts warn that all of this could have major implications for the COVID response and coronavirus surveillance, potentially putting the public at risk.

  • A public health emergency gives the federal government and certain agencies the funding and authority to take action. For example, it gives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority to require all states and territories to report COVID-19 data.
  • In addition, federal funding has pushed for coronavirus vaccines and made the shots accessible to everyone regardless of insurance coverage. All of this could be in danger, waiting for the results of the midterm elections.

State and neo-conservative representatives will have the power to enact laws about data sharing and privacy that may limit COVID reporting.

There have already been instances of state laws limiting health departments’ ability to require vaccination.

Read more here.

GRASSLEY A ‘NO’ IN 15-week abortion ban from GRAHAM

Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the top member of the Senate Republican convention, says he will vote against a 15-week national abortion ban sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (Republika Srpska) that has caused political headaches for fellow Republicans.

“I would vote ‘no’,” Grassley said in Thursday night’s televised debate with his Democratic challenger in the election, Mike Franken.

  • Grassley previously co-sponsored Graham’s bill, introduced last year, to ban abortion after 20 weeks.
  • Now, however, Grassley says abortion is an issue that must be addressed statewide, after the Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade’s federal right to abortion and left decisions to individual states.

A Des Moines Register-Mediacom Iowa poll in July showed Grassley ahead of Franken, a retired admiral, by 8 points, 47 percent to 39 percent.

Read more here.

White House promotes vaccine amid faltering booster offering

The White House is pushing back newly released data on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines as uptake of the bivalent booster shot remains low one month after its approval.

  • A new study from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal, estimates that coronavirus vaccines are associated with about 670,000 to 680,000 fewer hospital admissions as well as 330,000 to 370,000 fewer deaths than in September 2020. Until December 2021.
  • According to HHS, these estimates represented between 39 and 47 percent fewer deaths than the likely scenario in which vaccines were not available. The research did not include potential averted cases, with HHS citing an increase in at-home testing that officials have not been informed of.
  • On top of these potentially avoidable deaths and hospitalizations, the HHS study estimated that more than $16 billion in direct hospital treatment costs were saved due to immunization.

In a press briefing Friday, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, said this research “compounds the work we’re doing on vaccination.”

“We have been trying to make sure that we stay ahead of this virus and keep America not only healthy but strong and keep our economy healthy and strong,” Becerra said.

Nearly every death from COVID-19 in the US is now preventable, said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha, adding that the administration has been focusing on reducing illnesses and deaths in the country, though he declined to give an accurate report. . numerical target when asked.

Part of achieving the administration’s goal begins with “making sure every American gets an updated COVID vaccine,” according to Jha.

Read more here.

what we read

  • Why childbirth is so dangerous for many young teens (Kaiser Health News)
  • Supplying Adderall will likely be delayed 2-3 months, Teva says (Bloomberg)
  • COVID wave looms in Europe as ramp-up slowly begins (Reuters)

Country by state

  • A cook at Johns Hopkins Hospital complained of broken appliances and unsanitary conditions. Then he was fired. (Baltimore Banner)
  • A disabled Florida veteran struggled to get essential medications for days after Hurricane Ian (NBC News)
  • Some nursing home residents remain displaced after Hurricane Ian (WUSF)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health care page For the latest news and coverage. See you next week.

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