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Axios Pro tracker: Health care bills to watch

A table showing health policy issues status in the House and Senate.
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

We're trying out something new: a handy cheat sheet for some of the big-ticket policy items that could find a home in must-pass legislation.

Why it matters: The biggest deals will likely come after the election, but the coming weeks will reveal a lot about what will command lawmakers' attention.

  • It's important to watch the proposals that generate savings that could be used to help boost provider payments or extend expiring health programs.

Watch for updates throughout the year — and let us know if we've missed anything big or how we can make this feature more helpful to you.

  • Meanwhile, here's a rundown of some the biggest targets on our radar.

Site-neutral payment policies

  • The issue: To have Medicare pay the same for physician-administered drugs regardless whether they're administered in hospital outpatient departments or doctors' offices.
  • Status: Passed House. No major action in Senate.
  • Backers/opponents: Consumer/patient groups support. Hospitals oppose.
  • Cost/savings: Saves $3.8 billion over a decade.

PBM overhauls

  • The issue: A range of proposals to overhaul PBM business practices to lower drug costs.
  • Status: Some proposals passed the House. Ways and Means approved changes to help pay for a telehealth extension. Senate Finance and HELP committees advanced proposals.
  • Backers/opponents: Bipartisan support among lawmakers. PBMs oppose.
  • Cost/savings: A range of estimates, some in the neighborhood of $1 billion over 10 years.

Hospital price transparency

  • The issue: Codifies regulations for hospitals to publicize prices for procedures.
  • Status: Passed House. No Senate action.
  • Backers/opponents: Bipartisan support.
  • Cost/savings: CBO found no budgetary impact.

$35 insulin beyond Medicare

  • The issue: To cap monthly insulin costs at $35 per month for commercially insured Americans and the uninsured.
  • Status: Two bills introduced in Senate.
  • Backers/opponents: Some bipartisan support in Senate. House GOP more opposed.

China biotech crackdown

  • The issue: To cut off U.S. government funding for Chinese contract research firms that critics say are tied to Beijing and pose a security risk.
  • Status: Advanced from Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. House Oversight marking up Wednesday.
  • Backers/opponents: Wide bipartisan support.
  • Cost/savings: Unclear.

Drug pricing patent reforms

The issue: Preventing tactics like "product hopping" and "patent thickets" that sponsors say drug companies use to delay competition from cheaper generic drugs.

  • Status: Advanced from Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Backers/opponents: Bipartisan Senate support. PhRMA opposes.
  • Cost/savings: Projected in 2022 to save about $1 billion.
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