Congress Advances Four Bipartisan Healthcare Bills

The US House and Senate returned from recess, beginning a three-week sprint toward the August break. The bipartisan healthcare legislation on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and healthcare transparency is moving through both the House and Senate.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of a bipartisan healthcare package of four bills. The July 12 markup included four bills under the committee’s jurisdiction related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, to increase cost transparency for employers and patients, increase oversight of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), lower premiums, reduce healthcare spending and increase competition by removing incentives for provider consolidation.

  • H.R. 4509, the Transparency in Billing Act, would require accurate billing practices by hospitals, ensuring that group health plans pay for appropriately billed services. The bill advanced by a vote of 39–0.
  • H.R. 4507, the Transparency in Coverage Act, would codify the Transparency in Coverage final rule, which would provide consumers with price transparency for medical services and prescription drugs, and bring light to PBM practices. The bill advanced by a vote of 38–1.
  • H.R. 4527, the Health DATA Act, would ensure that health plan fiduciaries are not contractually restricted from receiving cost or quality of care information about their plan, including by adding PBMs to the list of groups that can be liable for violating gag clause provisions. The bill advanced by a vote of 38–1.
  • H.R. 4508, the Hidden Fee Disclosure Act, would strengthen requirements that PBMs and Third-Party Administrators disclose compensation to plan fiduciaries. The bill advanced by a vote of 39–1.

Almost every House and Senate committee with healthcare jurisdiction has now considered bipartisan PBM reform and healthcare transparency and consolidation reforms. This week, the Senate Finance Committee released a draft bill that would require increased disclosures by PBMs about their business practices. The Senate Finance Committee also announced a markup on July 26 to consider a package of PBM legislation.

Debra Curtis
Debbie is a highly respected health policy authority who helps clients advance their missions in Congress and beyond. With more than three decades of experience working both on the Hill and with the health insurance exchange marketplace, she helps clients execute payment strategy, see around the corner on policy and regulatory changes, and pursue effective advocacy. In addition, Debbie has deep experience working closely with payers, industry stakeholders and government officials at the federal, state and local levels. Read Debbie Curtis's full bio.

Kristen O'Brien
Kristen O’Brien is an accomplished healthcare executive with a deep understanding of regulatory advocacy and healthcare policy efforts. Kristen offers a strong background and a keen eye for solutions to barriers and challenges impacting healthcare clients. With more than 10 years of experience, her work focuses on implementing new laws through the rulemaking process, as well as working with relevant agency officials to develop and improve agency guidance. Read Kristen O’Brien's full bio.

Priya Rathakrishnan
Priya Rathakrishnan delivers comprehensive research and analysis of key federal health care legislative initiatives and policy developments. She assists clients with real-time monitoring and analysis of fast-breaking legislative, policy and regulatory developments in Washington, DC. She also coordinates coalition and client collaborations to achieve advocacy and policy goals. Read Priya Rathakrishnan's full bio.

Erica Stocker
Erica Stocker is a skilled policy and advocacy professional who has more than 20 years of experience in Washington, DC — including nearly 10 years working on Capitol Hill in health policy and office leadership roles, and more than a decade as a government relations professional and registered lobbyist. Read Erica Stocker's full bio.




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