2021 Outlook: Employer Groups Want Legislation on Drug Pricing, Telehealth

Trade groups representing employer health plan sponsors have a busy lobbying agenda for 2021 now that Democrats control the presidency and both chambers of Congress. The trade groups, the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH), both to some degree support lowering the eligible age for Medicare, aggressive action to lower prescription drug prices and comprehensive telehealth reform.

The common theme for both organizations across all their policy goals is a desire to lower health care costs and, broadly speaking, improve the risk pool for plan sponsors. While those goals are in alignment with the aims of the managed care industry most of the time, there are points where plan sponsors and carriers’ interests deviate — which could mean health insurance trade groups might team up with the plan sponsor lobby on one bill but square off on another.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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