September 10, 2021
D.C. News
  • President Biden ordered sweeping vaccine mandates for around 100 million federal employees, health care workers, and many other private-sector workers in an attempt to contain the surging COVID-19 pandemic. The plan directs the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week. Other components of the plan include requiring vaccinations for school staff and bolstering COVID-19 testing, including increasing supply of over-the-counter at-home tests, and reducing the cost of at-home tests by ensuring top manufacturers sell at-cost for the next three months. Republican governors threatened lawsuits and the Republican National Committee said the group “will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.” (Articles here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  • The Biden administration, via HHS, unveiled a long-awaited plan to lower prescription drug prices. The plan would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, limit yearly price increases, allow the importation of drugs from Canada, and place a cap on out-of-pocket spending for Medicare beneficiaries. The plan also calls on Congress to pass legislation aimed at bringing generic and biosimilar drugs to market more quickly, including shortening exclusivity periods, and creating incentives for doctors to prescribe biosimilars instead of brand-name drugs. (Plan here; Articles here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)