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What the GOP majority will do on health care

Illustration of an elephant stepping on red medical crosses and circles

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Who knows how this ends up, but it's looking like Republicans will squeak out a majority. So what do they agree on doing besides investigations? Not much!

  • But here's a list of what we've been able to figure out.

Where the House GOP is unified:

  • Republicans are eyeing eliminating any lingering COVID restrictions and potentially even voting to end the national emergency declaration.
  • A top House Republican priority is to pass the HALT Fentanyl Act to permanently make fentanyl-related drugs schedule I controlled substances.
  • Rep. Brett Guthrie, who co-chaired the House GOP’s health care task force, called health care price transparency “a big one,” saying people need to know the price of procedures ahead of time.
  • A House Energy and Commerce Republican staffer told Axios that investigating PBMs and ways to pass more savings on to patients will be a priority.
  • One post-COVID area of agreement: extending or making permanent the telehealth flexibilities that are part of the national public health emergency.
  • Several House Republicans pointed us to the Commitment for America plan when asked what next year’s health priorities would involve, though the document is sparse on details.

Oversight is another priority. Investigating COVID-19's origins, as well as the federal health agencies’ response to the pandemic, has long been a front-burner issue for Republicans.

  • “Holding agencies accountable to the American public will be a priority for the House of Representatives,” Rep. Jason Smith, who’s running for the Ways and Means chairmanship, told Axios. He pointed to investigating COVID relief funds as one area of interest.
  • Some Republicans want to repeal Democrats’ new drug pricing law. While that may be unrealistic with Biden in the White House, Republicans are pledging oversight of its implementation and promise to spotlight what they say are harms to drug research.

Maya Goldman contributed to this story.

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