Last Friday, the Chair and Ranking-member of the Senate Finance Committee released an update to their bill, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act. Beyond tackling the issue of drug pricing, it includes making permanent NAELA’s top two legislative priorities:
• The requirement that Medicaid’s “spousal impoverishment protections” applies to home and community-based service waivers (HCBS).
• The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program, which provides the authority and funds to allow Medicaid to cover the services necessary to transition individuals out of institutions and back into the community.
Whether the legislation will become law remains very unclear. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to move forward in the House with her own drug pricing proposal. However, her legislation, already expected to fail in the Senate, has run into concerns within her own caucus. Regardless, NAELA continues to lobby in coalition to secure extensions of our priorities. Both provisions are set to expire at the end of 2019.