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ML Strategies Health Care Preview: Week of February 11, 2019

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love may be in the air - but not so much on Capitol Hill. Talks to reach a border security deal ahead of Friday’s deadline broke down over the weekend. At the precipice of another government shutdown, the President is off to El Paso today to argue that walls work, as thousands of troops descend on the border once again. Congressional negotiators had hoped to reach a deal today to provide time to members to review the deal under regular order. A short-term extension at the last moment seems the most likely way a shutdown is averted.

During the recent shutdown, we noted how difficult it is for either side to appear to be compromising. When you and your supporters believe you are completely right on an issue, it's challenging to make any compromises that might be conceding ground to the opposition. If we are once again looking at a possible shutdown, it is because the challenge to compromise remains true.

We’re nearly halfway through February and Congress has sent very limited signals on legislative direction. Both chambers are circling on drug pricing, and the House E&C Health Subcommittee will propose legislation to counteract actions taken by the Administration against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation would reportedly revoke the rule on short-term limited duration plans and the revised state innovation waiver guidance, as well as restore ACA outreach funding which is currently $10 million.

DRUG PRICING

Democrats are introducing drug pricing legislation left and right. While some are bipartisan, many are yet to become bipartisan and may not this Congress. That said, two separate House committees are conducting investigations into rising drug costs and the Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a highly anticipated hearing that will feature seven pharmaceutical executives. This is on the heels of the reintroduction of the bipartisan CREATES Act, which would block tactics by manufacturers to delay generic drug development, among other measures.

What’s important to keep in mind is the possibility of bipartisan agreement on a drug pricing bill and what it might mean for a broader health care package this year.

THIS WEEK IN THE HOUSE

E&C Health – “Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Reverse ACA Sabotage and Ensure Pre-Existing Conditions Protections.” Wednesday at 10:30 am.

Ways & Means – “The Cost of Rising Prescription Drugs.” Tuesday at 10 am.

THIS WEEK IN THE SENATE

HELP – “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis.” Tuesday at 10 am.

 

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About this Author

Connie Garner ML Strategies Disability & Education Policy VP
ML Strategies - Vice President for Disability Policy & Education Policy

As Vice President for Disability Policy & Education Policy at ML Strategies, Connie leverages legislative, health care, government agency, and nonprofit and private sector consulting experience to help clients develop strategies on disability issues and education issues affecting their employees and businesses.

Connie is widely recognized as a national policy leader on disability, health care, and education issues. For 17 years, she was Policy Director for Disability and Special Populations to the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), where she...

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Frank Guinta ML Strategies VP
Senior Vice President of ML Strategies/US

Frank is based in our Washington, DC office and is Senior Vice President of ML Strategies.

Prior to joining the firm, Frank represented New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district in the US House of Representatives. He served for two nonconsecutive terms, from 2011 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2017. During his time in Congress, Frank served on several House committees. During his most recent term, he was a member of the Committee on Financial Services and served on its Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit as well as its Monetary Policy and Trade sub-committees. Previously he served on the Committee on the Budget, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Frank was also co-founder and co-chair of the House’s Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which successfully pushed for the passage of legislation that became part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). He is currently a member of the National Advisory Board of the Addiction Policy Forum, a partnership of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to increasing addiction awareness and improving national policies.

In 2005, Frank defeated a three-time incumbent to become mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire, the state’s largest city. At the time of his election, Frank was Manchester’s youngest mayor in over 100 years. He is credited with introducing community policing policies that helped control crime in the city, and with reducing taxes. In 2007, he was elected to a second term. During Frank’s tenure, Manchester was cited by several national publications for its recession-busting economic development, responsible fiscal philosophy, and favorable quality of life.

Prior to becoming mayor of Manchester, Frank was senior policy advisor to US Congressman Jeb Bradley. From 2000 to 2004, he served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Earlier he was elected to serve on Manchester’s Board of Aldermen, where he represented Ward 3. Frank also had a successful career in the insurance industry, and ran his own insurance consulting firm.

EDUCATION

  • University of New Hampshire (MIP)
  • Assumption College (BA)

RECOGNITION & AWARDS

  • Chamber of Commerce, Spirit of Enterprise Award
  • NFIB, Guardian of Small Business
  • ABC, Legislator of the Year
  • Healthcare Leadership Council, Champion of Healthcare Innovation
  • National Association of Community Health Centers, Distinguished Community Health Advocate Award
  • Change Direction NH, Champion of Mental Health
  • National Association of Police Organizations, Outstanding Support of American Law Enforcement Award
  • Association of Mature American Citizens, Friend of AMAC Award
  • National Retail Federation, Hero of Main Street Award
  • Bi-State Primary Care Association, Community Health Center Champion Award
  • The Humane Society of the United States, Legislative Leader Award

INVOLVEMENT

  • Member, National Advisory Board, Addiction Policy Forum (2017 – Present)
  • Chairman, IBC-NH Independent Business Council (2013 – 2014)
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Alexander Hecht, Vice President of Government Relations, Mintz Levin law Firm
Vice President of Government Relations

Alex is Deputy Director of the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy. He is an attorney with more than 10 years of senior-level experience in Congress and trade associations.

Alex assists clients with their legislative and regulatory needs on a wide range of issues. Prior to joining ML Strategies, Alex served for over six years as chief counsel for Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) on the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. He was the lead policy counsel for Senator Snowe on health insurance market reform, individual and employer-based insurance,...

202-434-7333
Manager of Government Relations

Prior to joining ML Strategies, Eli was a legislative correspondent for US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), where his experience included health care, education, child welfare, social security, food assistance, and poverty issues specifically as they relate to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Social Security. Previously, Eli served as a legislative intern with Senator Heinrich. He also served as a legislative intern with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), where he worked on issues related to education, health, and commerce. Eli has also served as an intern at a political...

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