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Lindsey Copeland

Federal Policy Director

Medicare Extra Rx HELP Act Companion Bill Introduced in the House

This week, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) introduced a House companion to the Medicare Extra Rx HELP Act (S. 691/H.R. 4583). Championed in the Senate by Bob Casey (D-PA), this bill would make improvements to the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), commonly known as Extra Help, to better reflect current needs.

New Drug Pricing Plan Unveiled in the House

Last week, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released her much-anticipated drug pricing plan, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3). Top Democrats on the three committees of jurisdiction introduced the legislation—Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Energy & Commerce; Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Ways & Means; and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Education & Labor.

Tell Your Member of Congress to Support the BENES Act

The bipartisan Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (S. 1280/H.R. 2477) is urgently needed to modernize and streamline the Medicare Part B enrollment process. Passage this year presents an important opportunity for members of Congress to advance commonsense, low-cost reforms that are in the best interest of millions of current and future Medicare beneficiaries.

New Report Highlights Recent Proposals to Control Prescription Drug Costs

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines a number of these proposed and recent changes—including those related to the Part D benefit design, the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) program, drug importation, generic drug availability, and price transparency—outlining the implications for people with Medicare and the program itself. This comprehensive resource will be updated ongoingly to reflect evolving policy discussions.

Trump Administration Releases Updated “Public Charge” Rule

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security finalized a “public charge” rule that could greatly harm families and prevent people with Medicare from accessing the services and supports they need to thrive. The new policy is set to become effective on October 15, 2019.

New Report Examines Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefit Policies

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute examines changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) supplemental benefit policies and the implications for people with Medicare.

MA plans have long been able to offer benefits beyond what is required by law. However, the recent Balanced Budget Act of 2018 and regulatory decisions, including those in the 2019 Part C and D final rule and the Final Call Letter for 2019, have greatly increased this authority.

New Legislation Looks to Address High and Rising Drug Prices

This week, the Senate Finance Committee unveiled long-awaited drug pricing legislation, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) of 2019. The bill outlines a number of changes to address the problem of high and rising drug prices within the Medicare program, including a redesign of the Part D benefit and the imposition of inflationary rebates.