Health Care – Senators Prepare for Battle of Reconciliation

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DNY)
Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DNY) addresses reporters during a press conference on Friday, August 5, 2022 to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act and this weekend’s hearing.

Only in Los Angeles can you find places like this Beverly Hills Bistro It was transformed into the group “The Golden Girls”. And yes, they do serve a lot of cheesecake.

On the healthcare front, it’s going to be a long weekend, so get ready for lots of mod sounds! Senate Democrats will meet over the weekend to consider a bill that could be the most transformative effort since the Affordable Care Act.

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

How will the battle over the Democrats bill end?

Senate Democrats are preparing for a royal battle with Republicans over a 700-page bill that would reform the tax code, tackle climate change, lower drug costs and reduce the deficit in hopes of achieving what will become President Biden’s primary legislative achievement.

While the $1.9 trillion US bailout package that Democrats enacted last year was a bigger bill in terms of dollars spent, the Inflation Reduction Act will deliver on what Democrats have promised for years.

What is on the table: It will require profitable businesses to pay more taxes, reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change, lower the prices of many prescription drugs, and maintain the affordability of health plans to the Medicare Act.

Saturday schedule: The Senate will meet on Saturday afternoon and will vote at 12:30 p.m. on a motion to get a candidate to serve as an administrative assistant for the Environmental Protection Agency out of the committee. This will be an attendance vote to make sure all 50 Democratic caucus members are in attendance.

  • Sometime later in the day, the Senate will vote on a motion to advance the inflation-reduction bill, which is expected to split strictly along partisan lines.
  • That would then lead to up to 20 hours of debate on the bill, which could extend into late evening or past midnight last Saturday. 20 hours of discussion will be divided equally between the two parties.
  • And at some point, Schumer will have to finish negotiating some of the bill’s unresolved provisions on Friday afternoon.

Read more here.

AARP and Big Pharma are in a battle over drug pricing

The nation’s largest group of seniors is fighting a battle with the drug industry over drug price reform for Democrats.

The Association of American Pensioners is blanketing the airwaves with ads supporting the measure to counter drug companies’ efforts to pressure key Democrats to vote “no” to a measure that would lower prescription drug prices.

mobilize efforts: It also mobilizes nearly 38 million of its members to lobby their representatives over a drug pricing plan.

“We’ve heard for decades from our members struggling to afford their prescription drugs,” said Bill Sweeney, AARP’s senior vice president of government affairs. “We know drug companies have a lot of lobbyists and a lot of money, but we have a lot of people.”

The group says its members have sent more than eight million calls and emails to lawmakers urging them to cut prescription drug costs. Until the end of this week, AARP will broadcast 1 million US dollars based in the capital advertising campaign Strengthening senators who “stand up to big drug companies”.

  • The Democrats’ drug-pricing plan — which is included in the climate spending and tax package they are heading to vote in the Senate this weekend — will enable Medicare to negotiate and eventually lower prices for some popular drugs, prevent price hikes and caps out. Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare seniors are $2,000 per year.
  • While the plan is weaker than some of the Democrats’ previous proposals, it will also dampen drug companies’ profits, dealing a rare blow to the influential industry.

Read more here.

Biden tests positive for COVID-19 for one straight week

His doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again Friday, and that his cough had “almost completely resolved.”

O’Connor wrote that Biden “still feels a lot better” despite his recovery from COVID-19. Such recurrent infections have been seen in some patients taking the antiviral therapy Baxilovid.

“His temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remain completely normal,” O’Connor wrote. This morning, the SARS-CoV-2 antigen test remained positive.

“His temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remain completely normal,” O’Connor wrote. This morning, the SARS-CoV-2 antigen test remained positive.

Temporary travel plans: The White House earlier on Friday Announce a trip to Kentucky, where the President will survey the damage caused by the deadly floods. The White House said Biden needs to test negative in order to break out of isolation.

Read more here.

Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for threats against Fauci and others

A West Virginia man was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in federal prison after making threats against White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and others.

Will Thomas Patrick Connally Jr. He spends three years in prison Followed by three more years of supervised release for his threats against Fauci, former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Health Rachel Levine, Massachusetts public health official and religious leader.

U.S. District Judge Paula Schenniss sentenced Connally after pleading guilty to using an anonymous email to make horrific threats against Fauci and others in late 2020 through mid-2021.

One of the emails sent to Fauci said he and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death and burned”.

Connally also threatened to attack and kill Collins and his family if he continued to promote mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Connally admitted that he sent the threats to the Doctors. Fauci and Collins wrote with the intent to intimidate or interfere with the performance of their official duties and with the intent to retaliate against Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins for the performance of their official duties, including discussing, testing and preventing COVID-19.” to the Ministry of Justice.

Read more here.

The House of Representatives looks to consider the Democrats’ bill next Friday

The House plans to reconvene next Friday and debate Democrats’ sprawling climate, tax and healthcare bill, awaiting Senate approval of a multibillion-dollar package in the coming days.

The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) sent an update to the floor on Friday announcing that a vote was expected on Friday, August 12. The House is currently out of session for the August recess.

“Members are advised that pending Senate action on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the House of Representatives is expected to meet on Friday, August 12, to consider the legislation,” the speech said.

“Members are further advised that the House of Representatives is expected to meet at 9:00 AM for legislative work, and a series of multiple votes is expected,” the memo adds.

The Senate is expected to pass a bill entitled “Inflation Reduction Act” in the coming days.

Once the bill reaches the House of Representatives, it is expected to pass and head to President Biden’s office for final signature.

“The Democratic Congress will soon pass the historic inflation-cutting bill, and it will take bold action to lower kitchen table costs — from health care premiums to prescription drug costs to energy prices — while closing tax loopholes and paying the deficit,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in Friday’s statement praised the jobs report for July.

Read more here.

what we read

  • Cognitive rehabilitation may help older adults clear up brain fog associated with COVID-19.Kaiser Health News)
  • Why lack of monkeypox vaccine may threaten immunodeficiency (New York times)
  • Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine Released To A Slow Start With Only 7,000 Doses In Arms (News letters)

Country by state

  • Health officials say polio found in wastewater samples outside New York City indicates it’s spreading in the community (CNBC)
  • Confusion reigned in Michigan for days as abortion rights changed hour to hour (NPR)
  • Abortion is widely available in California, but not for these women (Los Angeles Times)
  • Fifth abortion clinic opens in Kansas ahead of vote (News agency)

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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