THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019                                                                                                           

House Meets At… Votes Predicted At…
10:00 a.m. Morning Hour

12:00 p.m. Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” Per Side

First/Last Votes: 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.




Floor Schedule and Procedure:

Under a Rule (1 bill):

H.R. 987 – Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (Rep. Blunt Rochester – Energy and Commerce/Education and Labor)

  • This omnibus bill combines three key bills to lower drug costs by promoting generic competition and four key bills to strengthen health care, reverse GOP sabotage, and rescind the Trump Administration’s devastating junk plan rule.
  • This omnibus bill invests most of the savings of $13.8 billion created by its three bills promoting generic competition and its bill cracking down on junk plans into strengthening health care – funding about 500,000 additional enrollees in nongroup coverage and Medicaid (the result of restoring funding for consumer outreach and enrollment education activities) and helping interested states set up their own state-based marketplaces, which outperform the Federal marketplace.

Talking points from the House Energy and Commerce Committee are attached.  

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for 90 minutes of general debate with 60 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and Labor.

The Rule also made in order 27 amendments. A full list of amendments can be found HERE and below:

Pallone Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Clarifies communication requirements for eligible product developers and license holders regarding requests, offers, and delivery of product samples.

Bucshon Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Strikes Title II – Health Insurance Market Stabilization, which includes the following ACA sections:  providing $200 million in grant funding for states to establish their own health care marketplaces, restoring funding for the navigator program, restoring funding for consumer outreach and educational activities, and reversing the Administration’s expansion of short-term limited duration insurance plans.

Welch Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Prohibits the Secretary of HHS from ending autoenrollment.

Blunt Rochester Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to release all aggregated studies and data sets created on or after January 1, 2014 related to marketing and outreach for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

DeSaulnier Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Commissions a study by the National Academy of Medicine on the amount of federal funding and research used in the development of drugs by pharmaceutical companies, including the amount of revenue and profits earned on such drugs and reinvested into research and development of new drugs.

Harder Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Provides opioid specific education and training to the Navigators and the Certified Application Counselors (CACs) that ensures they can best educate individuals on the marketplace plans specifically for opioid health care treatment.

Shalala Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

States the sense of Congress that the Secretary of HHS should not take any action to prohibit or restrict “silver loading.”

Hayes Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Amends the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) navigator program to authorize $25,000,000 for State-Based Marketplace navigator programs. Ensures that no state shall receive a grant that is less than $1,000,000.

McBath Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Directs the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Education to provide for appropriate outreach to pharmacy schools related to generic drugs and biosimilars, including on how generic drugs and biosimilars are equivalent or similar to brand drugs; the approval process for generic drugs and biosimilars; availability and substitutability of generic drugs and biosimilars; and the cost impact for consumers.

Scanlon Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires the HHS Secretary to issue biweekly public reports during the annual open enrollment period on the performance of the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. Each report will include a summary of information on the open enrollment season including the number of website visits, accounts created, calls to the call center, number of people who enroll in a plan and what enrollment path they took, e.g., website, broker, or call center. Requires the HHS secretary to issue an “after action” report on the enrollment season that includes data on plan enrollment and activities related navigator program. Requires the HHS Secretary to issue a report on advertising and consumer outreach for each plan year, including information on spending for these activities (e.g. division of spending on individual outreach platforms, including television and radio advertisements and digital media).

Morelle Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires GAO to study the effect of President Trump’s cuts to ACA outreach and the Navigator Program on health insurance enrollment and the cost of coverage in the individual market.

Waters Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires HHS to submit to Congress a report on the extent to which increases in prescription drug prices have caused Medicare beneficiaries to forego recommended treatment.

Johnson (TX) Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires Navigators to receive training on how to assist consumers with Medicaid and CHIP enrollment.

Lynch Amendment #14 (10 minutes of debate)

Extends the deadline by which States may apply for federal assistance to establish State-Based Marketplaces by one year to December 31, 2023. Extends the date by which the State-Based Marketplaces must be self-sustaining by one year to January 1, 2025.

Lynch Amendment #15 (10 minutes of debate)

Asks the GAO to conduct a cost benefit analysis of the establishment of State-administered health insurance plans for states that may want to offer a public option in their health insurance Marketplaces. The report is due to Congress no later than one year after enactment.

Lipinski Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires a GAO report to determine whether the Department of Health and Human Services has taken appropriate steps to ensure that routine maintenance to the website is minimally disruptive to consumers.

Deutch Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Adds a duty requiring navigators to provide information in plain language regarding essential health benefits and consumer protections under the mental health and substance use disorder benefits parity law.

Brown Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Adds that the Secretary shall implement outreach and educational activities in areas with high health disparities.

Gomez Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Clarifies the ability of Navigators to provide referrals to community-based organizations that address social needs related to health outcomes.

Escobar Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires Navigators to assist vulnerable populations including individuals with limited English proficiency and chronic illnesses.

Wexton Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Includes findings that the final rule on short-term, limited duration insurance weakens protections for the millions of Americans living with preexisting health conditions, including children with complex medical needs and disabilities and their families.

Pappas Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set annual enrollment targets for the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace for the plan year 2020 and each subsequent plan year.

Cox Amendment #23 (10 minutes of debate)

Adds a new subsection (b): Promote Transparency and Accountability in the Administration’s Expenditures of Exchange User Fees, which requires HHS to submit an annual report to Congress that includes a detailed breakdown of the Department’s spending on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, including spending on outreach and enrollment, navigators, maintenance of, and operation of the call centers.

Cox Amendment #24 (10 minutes of debate)

Adds areas with high concentrations of unemployment to the list where such outreach and educational activities shall be provided by the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace.

Phillips Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Directs Marketplaces to establish an online website portal to facilitate the sharing of information between the Marketplace and Navigator organizations about their clients’ applications for health insurance to facilitate enrollment.

Horn Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Ensures rural areas are included in navigator outreach.

Cunningham Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

Ensures that the Federally Facilitated Marketplace outreach activities are also targeted towards veteran populations.


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

  • Robert Louis Stevenson