Faegre Drinker Consulting principal Nick Manetto and District Policy Group president Ilisa Halpern Paul authored an article for Law360 titled “Anticipating The Biden Administration’s Health Care Agenda,” that breaks down the health care issues the 117th Congress are likely to address and the strategies they may use.
The authors noted how the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Senate election and the development of the pandemic will impact the health care agenda and negotiations used by the Biden administration. “A divided government will likely result in an aggressive use of regulatory tools by the incoming Biden administration to pursue policies unable to clear a Republican Senate,” the authors said.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors outlined the following issues expected in the congressional health care agenda:
- Potential future rounds of provider relief funding and accountability associated with allocations.
- Possible expansion of the federal Medicaid match.
- Funding to support the response.
- Funding to develop and distribute FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
- Policies to address costs of COVID-19-related care.
- Potential funding to support medical research of COVID-19.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors identified the following health care topics that Congress will likely address:
- The reauthorization of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Prescription Drug User Fee Act and related user fee authorizations.
- Annual appropriations or spending bills that shape department and agency actions and priorities.
- Legislation to curb balance or surprise health care billing.
- Initiatives to address costs of prescription drugs.
- Legislation to sustain expanded access to telehealth.
- Regulations related to the Affordable Care Act.
- The expansion of Medicaid.
The authors concluded “Wild cards including a raging pandemic and a pending U.S. Supreme Court case may shift the agenda at any time.”