Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans are divided on drug costs and surprise medical bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Barrass (R-Wyo.)

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that Senate Republicans are divided on bipartisan bills to address both drug costs and surprise bills, The Hill reports.

The big picture: The White House vocally supports the bipartisan drug pricing bill by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden.

  • The White House waded into the slog over how to address surprise medical bills, appearing to side with the approach taken by multiple leading committees and favored by insurers, employers and unions.

Meanwhile, the House Education and Labor Committee passed its surprise billing legislation yesterday — over the objections of lawmakers concerned about its impact on doctors, as The Hill's Peter Sullivan tweeted.

  • The Congressional Budget Office found that both leading approaches to out-of-network payment disputes would save billions of dollars over the next decade, although the insurer-favored (and apparently White House-favored) one would reportedly save more than the one generally supported by providers.

Go deeper: Congress remains gridlocked on surprise medical bills

Go deeper