Capitol Correspondence - 07.12.22

Budget Reconciliation Legislation Advances with Prescription Drug Pricing Reform

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Although Congress is out on recess, Senators have been at work advancing the budget reconciliation legislation. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats released one piece of the legislation, a provision that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices through Medicare. That provision was sent to the Senate Parliamentarian for review.

Senators are expected to move additional pieces of the legislation, contingent on the Parliamentarian’s ruling and the level of savings that will be generated through that drug pricing language. Negotiations continue over which additional provisions will be included in a final reconciliation package; there is no news on whether HCBS funding is currently included in those negotiations.

The process has been complicated by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis, leaving him unable to vote, and Senator Patrick Leahy’s emergency hip surgery. Senate Democrats need 50 votes to advance any budget reconciliation legislation.