Congress strips out PBM reform at final hour, teeters toward shutdown with funding deadline

Our Congress passed a 1000+ page continued resolution to continue the funding of our government through the end of our fiscal year (09/30/2024). With 1.2 Trillion dollar patch to our federal spending, members of Congress had < 24 hrs to those 1,000+ pages BEFORE THEY HAD TO VOTE ON THIS BILL. Congress is required by law to have a budget passed for the next fiscal year before the fiscal year begins on Oct 1st of each year. With about 85% of the members of Congress up for re-election in Nov. I wonder how many millions of dollars from the insurance/PBM industry flowed into re-election campaign funds of those members of Congress up for re-election?

Here is a recent blog post about 30% of independent Pharmacist expect to close their doors by the end of 2024. That you be from 4,000- 6,000 independent pharmacies, mostly in rural areas.

Here is another post from today    Another example of how the insurance/pbm industry is putting profits over patient care/safety

Congress strips out PBM reform at the final hour, teeters toward shutdown with a funding deadline

This week, Congress agreed to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2024, mere days before a looming government shutdown, with votes looking to happen this weekend. This agreement would fund nearly 70 percent of the government including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. NCPA is sad to share that PBM reform is not included in the final funding agreement, having been stripped out at the last moment. It was instead decided that a “skinny” health care package would replace the robust legislative package that committees had agreed upon late last week, which included several major NCPA legislative priority policies. The committees had finalized their package after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) held a press conference with pharmacy leaders, pharmacists and patients — including NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey, pharmacy owner and former NCPA president Michele Belcher, and pharmacy owner Jack Holt — to discuss the urgent need for Congress to finalize bipartisan pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reforms. Later that day Sens. Wyden and Crapo issued a letter to Finance Committee members reaffirming their commitment to enacting meaningful PBM reforms during this Congress. Additionally, last Friday, 21 Senators and 51 Representatives sent letters to their respective leadership calling for immediate action on PBM reform. The calls, led by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) in the Senate and Reps. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Debbi Dingell (D-Mich.) in the House, highlighted the bipartisan support PBM reform has received in both chambers and the urgent need to act to preserve patient access to medications and pharmacies.

While PBM reform has been stripped out this time,

it made it to final negotiations a promising outlook and even more reason to fight for final passage. NCPA will continue to work with policy leaders to get PBM reform passed this year.

One Response

  1. Our legislature is broken and compromised! Congress should closed permanently. Anything that is beneficial to the US and citizens, these politicians do the opposite, only trying to destroy us. THEY OWN OUR COUNTRY WITH THE GARBAGE THAT PAYS THEM OFF. Beyond disgusted with their lack of integrity, morality and complete demonization.

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