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E&C's 2024 health priorities

Jan 9, 2024
Illustration of a red health plus being held by an elephant trunk

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is putting a priority on wrapping up unfinished business like transparency legislation and reauthorizing several expiring health programs this year, per a GOP committee aide.

Why it matters: Despite spending fights and election year politics, the panel's action items include continuing increased oversight of the CDC and reauthorizing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, a customarily bipartisan process that turned brittle last year.

Zoom in: Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers will have a hand in negotiations on three pieces of legislation that have all already passed the House: the sweeping health cost transparency bill, the SUPPORT Act and the HALT Fentanyl Act.

  • E&C is also pushing for floor action on McMorris Rodgers' bill to ban QALYs, as well as the PAHPA legislation, both of which have already passed out of the committee.
  • Within the committee, the aide expects action on issues E&C lawmakers worked on in 2023, such as Medicare payment reform, drug shortages, access to innovation and public health agency reform.
  • There also are telehealth programs that expire in 2024, as well as authorizations for research programs in the areas of traumatic brain injuries, autism, congenital heart disease and Alzheimer's disease that sunset this year.

What we're watching: Whether contentious measures, such as addressing PBM spread pricing in Medicare that was highlighted at a committee markup in December, will see any further action. And if divergent House and Senate reauthorizations of PAHPA can be reconciled.

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