House Dems Look to Strengthen Public Exchanges

May 14, 2019

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Source: Think Advisor

House Democratic leaders are planning to use H.R. 987 — an Affordable Care Act (ACA) public exchange marketing funding bill — as a train engine for pulling many other health insurance bills to the House floor.

Members of the House Rules Committee are preparing to meet at 4:30 p.m. today to review an extended version of H.R. 987. Members will also consider 50 proposed amendments.

The House floor tracking page shows that the H.R. 987 package could come up on the floor later this week.

H.R. 987 — the “Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower Health Education Act of 2019″ bill, or the “MORE Health Education Act” — would provide $100 million in funding for ACA public exchange marketing and public education programs.

House leaders have already attached provisions from the following bills to H.R. 987:

  • H.R. 938: This would change the approval rules for new generic drugs.
  • H.R. 965: This bill would update the rules for letting generic drugs and biosimilars come to market.
  • H.R. 1010: This bill would block a new federal regulation that lets the same short-term health insurance coverage stay in place for up to three years. It would bring back the three-month coverage duration limit imposed by federal regulators under the administration of former President Barack Obama.
  • H.R. 1385: This bill would provide $200 million that states could use to set up state-based ACA public exchange programs.
  • H.R. 1386: This bill would require every state’s exchange program to make at least one of its navigator organizations, or ombudsman programs, a consumer-focused nonprofit group; and prohibit a state from taking into account whether a prospective navigator organization promotes short-term health insurance or association health plans.
  • H.R. 1499: This bill would prohibit brand name drug manufacturers from compensating generic drug manufacturers to delay the market entry of a generic drug.

The current version of the H.R. 987 package does not include any provisions related to Democrats’ Medicare for All proposals.

The list of proposed amendments includes one that would ask the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a cost benefit analysis of states setting up their own government-run, public option health plans.

The House Rules Committee usually streams its proceedings live on the web, then posts a video recording of the meetings after the meetings are over.

 

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