Even Amid Crisis, Congress Could Take Up Part D Reform
With the federal government consumed by responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, the possibility of Congress passing drug-pricing legislation — once a top priority for the Trump administration — might seem dim. But analysts say it’s very possible that something like an overhaul of the Medicare Part D benefit, upon which there is bipartisan agreement, could still make its way into legislation that federal lawmakers pass in the coming weeks or months to address the ongoing public health crisis.
After days of increasingly tense negotiations, the Trump administration and Senate leaders reached a deal in the early hours of March 25 on a stimulus package worth more than $2 trillion that aims to provide relief for Americans and businesses struggling from the widening economic damage wrought by COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic, which as of March 25 caused more than 700 deaths in the U.S., has pummeled the stock market and triggered scores of job losses as many of the country’s most populous cities and states shut down non-essential businesses to slow the virus’ spread.