Timing On User Fee Votes Up In Air, As GOP Delays Senate Health Care Bill Battle
Senate leaders had shoved a floor vote on the five-year device and drug user fee reauthorization bill to the back burner to make room for a pre-July 4 vote on the Senate's Obamacare repeal bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now delaying a vote to get more votes, a step that could further throw off the timing of FDARA passage.
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Differences between Senate and House Committee versions of the FDA Reauthorization Act passed in May and June to approve five-year device user-fee agreements have been smoothed over by committee staff and joined together in the latest version of the act. The bill has been placed on the House's calendar in anticipation of July 12 action to debate and approve the bill. Next steps in the Senate, meanwhile, remain to be seen.
AdvaMed members ratcheted up pressure on members of Congress last week to permanently abolish the device tax, be it in the Senate Affordable Care Act repeal bill, or any other way they can get it. Meanwhile, medical provider groups, including the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, and the American Hospital Association, are lobbying against the Senate's bill to prevent insurance coverage losses.
A select group of legislators are working behind closed doors on a Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It's not yet clear how close or far apart it will be from the House American Health Care Act, but here is a graphical look at what the AHCA might mean for device procedure volumes.