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House Rules Panel In Stalemate On CR -- With CHIP, ACA Taxes Hanging In Balance

The House Rules Committee adjourned Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 17) without making any headway on a final version of the latest short-term continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown Friday, and which as drafted late Tuesday includes six years of Children's Health Insurance Program funding and a delay in the ACA's industry's taxes.

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A bill that would allow drug and device manufacturers to communicate off-label information about their products with payers cleared the House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee on Wednesday (Jan. 17), despite Democratic opposition.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday (Jan. 17) cleared the nomination of Alex Azar to HHS secretary for a floor vote, but Democrats voted against Azar because he was president of Eli Lilly USA while the company significantly raised drug prices.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced on Wednesday (Jan. 17) a bill to stop certain types of hospitals from entering the 340B program until the Health Resources and Services Administration puts forward regulations for the drug discount program with additional transparency measures and other program requirements.

The House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee passed by voice vote on Wednesday (Jan. 17) a bill that protects health care professionals from being held liable for harm caused by providing health care services during a national or public health emergency, or a major disaster.

House Republicans plan to attach six years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and delays of three Affordable Care Act taxes to the continuing resolution that must pass by Friday to avert a federal government shut-down, according to GOP lawmakers leaving a conference meeting Tuesday night.

FDA and the Department of Defense's Office of Health Affairs took steps Tuesday (Jan. 16) to implement a new framework to prioritize development of medical products for use by the war fighter, which will include treating DOD medical development programs as if they have received FDA's breakthrough therapy designation, FDA explains in its newly published work plan.

Congressional Medicare advisers discussed Friday (Jan. 12) proposals to pay more for primary care services by cutting rates for other services.

FDA announced on Friday (Jan. 12) that it will continue to delay until further notice a controversial regulatory measure that would factor “the totality of the evidence” into agency decisions regarding a drug or device manufacturer's intended use of a product and communications about such uses.

The House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee will mark up health bills next week that address off-label communications, modernization of FDA's over-the-counter (OTC) monograph system, and protection of health care professionals from liability when they volunteer during disasters.