October 5, 2023
Bernie Sanders poised to steer Senate well being committee

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Dive Temporary:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is subsequent in line to chair the Senate Committee on Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions when present chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., steps down from the submit to imagine management of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Spokespersons for each Sanders and Murray confirmed the senators’ intentions to take up the brand new roles, in response to media experiences.
  • Sanders has lengthy championed a single-payer, Medicare for all nationwide medical insurance program. As chairman of the HELP committee, he’ll deal with common healthcare, decreasing prescription drug prices, rising entry to larger training and defending staff’ rights, the Sanders spokesperson instructed state information web site VTDigger.
  • Sen. Invoice Cassidy, R-La., is about to change into the subsequent rating member of the HELP committee. “I look ahead to securing actual options for points dealing with us all,” Cassidy, a physician, stated in an announcement.

Dive Perception:

A break up Congress with a slim Republican majority within the Home after the midterm elections will guarantee extra gridlock on points like healthcare prices and entry.

Nonetheless, as chairman of the HELP committee, Sanders may acquire contemporary momentum in a outstanding place to advance his imaginative and prescient for the U.S. healthcare system.

An outspoken critic of the pharmaceutical business, Sanders has pushed for stronger prescription drug reforms than these contained within the Inflation Discount Act signed by President Joe Biden in August. 

Main provisions of that laws require Medicare to start negotiating some drug costs starting in 2026 and cap Medicare Half D out-of-pocket prices in 2025. Pharmaceutical producers additionally should pay rebates to Medicare if drug costs rise sooner than the speed of inflation beginning in 2023.

Sanders, who has served on the HELP committee since elected to the Senate in 2007, argues that Medicare ought to have the identical broad energy because the Division of Veterans Affairs to barter decrease prescription drug costs. He has additionally referred to as for decreasing the age of Medicare eligibility and increasing this system to supply listening to, imaginative and prescient and dental protection.

In the beginning of the pandemic, Sanders launched a invoice that may have protected People in the course of the public well being emergency from paying any out-of-pocket bills for healthcare, banned shock billing and empowered Medicare to purchase prescribed drugs on the similar costs because the VA.

Cassidy, who was elected to the Senate in 2014, as soon as helped launch a neighborhood clinic that served the uninsured in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He instructed The Washington Put up’s Well being 202 that he needs to conduct oversight into the implementation of the shock billing legislation.

The formal course of to seat the subsequent chairman and rating member will happen subsequent 12 months within the new Congress.

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