Debate continues into the night on components of reconciliation bill for Senate consideration.
The House of Representatives tonight passed and sent to the President health care reform (HCR) legislation that includes medication therapy management (MTM) and several other favorable pharmacy provisions. While the nation appears torn over broader issues related to the legislation—divisions evident during hours of bitter debate on the House floor—the pharmacy components of the final bill are viewed favorably by most pharmacy organizations.
Final vote on the measure was 219–212. A total of 216 votes was required to pass the measure.
The House continues to debate elements of a reconciliation package that will go to the Senate for changes in the HCR bill. The upper chamber will not take up the reconciliation bill until President Obama has signed into law the legislation passed tonight.
Included in the HCR legislation are numerous pharmacy-related provisions, including a grants program for MTM sought by APhA and other members of the pharmacy coalition. An adjustment for pharmaceutical pricing based on average manufacturer price, or AMP, is also in the bill.
In the reconciliation package that will go to the Senate for certain “fixes” to the bill passed tonight, the AMP formula is tweaked further. Language closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug doughnut hole in increments over the next decade is also in the reconciliation bill. This year, Part D beneficiaries would receive a $250 rebate after they reach the gap in coverage.
Another short-term impact of the new law will be to forbid insurance companies’ denials of coverage of children because of pre-existing conditions. Those provisions are slated to take effect 6 months after the bill becomes law.
Watch pharmacist.com for further analysis of the HCR law and the changes being made through the reconciliation process.