Top Dems Urge Administration Not to Finalize Medicare Drug Payment Proposal

Top Democrats urged the Obama administration to not finalize a program that would test new ways for Medicare to pay for some prescription drugs, congressional aides confirmed to Morning Consult.

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged the administration not to publish a final rule as the administration rounds out its term. The administration has not responded to the lawmakers, according to a congressional aide.

The controversial program, proposed in March, aimed to test a new way to reimburse hospitals and doctors’ offices for some prescription drugs and to shift providers to a value-based payment model.

The proposal was quickly slammed by Republicans who urged the White House to scrap it. Some Democrats also wanted scale back the size and scope of the program, over concerns that it would make it more difficult for some patients to access prescriptions. Many provider groups also pilloried the proposal.

Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters last week that the agency had one more rule it was finalizing before the end of the administration.

The Obama administration could still finalize the rule, but the incoming Trump administration and Republican Congress would have the ability to dismantle such a regulation.

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