Washington Update, September 2021

Washington Update

by Johanna Gray

We’re in the midst of another very busy September in Washington! Here’s the latest:

  • Federal funding: Congress has to pass legislation to fund the government by the October 1, 2021 start of fiscal year 2022. They are likely to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at current levels to give them more time to negotiate year-long spending bills. The funding extension is being paired with a policy to raise the debt ceiling (the US is estimated to hit our current ceiling in October). If Congress does not pass a CR, then the government could shut down.
  • Reconciliation package: Democrats in Congress are also hard at work on the Build Back Better reconciliation package that is the “human” infrastructure package to be combined with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (“hard” infrastructure package) that the Senate passed last month. While there appears to be consensus about some important coverage expansions included in the bill, there remains a lot of uncertainty about whether any drug pricing provisions will be included. As of this writing, there are no provisions relating to 340B reform. We have successfully worked with our colleagues in the 340B Coalition to prevent inclusion of a provision that would have states reimburse for 340B drugs the same in Medicaid managed care as for fee-for-service.
  • Protect 340B Act: As mentioned above in Notes from Joe, the Alliance is supportive of the Protect 340B Act. If you would like to advocate with your members of Congress in support of the bill, please contact me and I can provide you with a template email and contact info for the right staffers.
  • Hemophilia SNF Access Act: The new ability for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to bill separately for bleeding disorders treatments takes effect on October 1st. The Alliance and NHF are both working on materials to be provided to SNFs, HTCs, chapters, and patients about the new law and how it will be implemented. Stay tuned for more info on this!

Also in this Issue…

Notes from Joe
· Finally, and thank you!

Legal Update
· Reorganization of HRSA and Change in Office of Pharmacy Affairs Leadership

Payer Update
· Open Enrollment Beginning

Alliance Update
· Meeting Update
· Harmony in Hemophilia – HTC Wall of Walkers Unite Walk Challenge Update

Notes from the Community
· Update from the Hemophilia Alliance Foundation