Government Will Stay Open – for Now
As we reported last week, Congress needed to act by last Friday in order to stop the government from shutting down. Thankfully, they managed to do that.
After they passed another CR – a continuing resolution - they now have until March 11 to either pass legislation to fully fund the government through the rest of the 2022 fiscal year or face the possibility of shutdown once again.
As we explained last week, this is important for seniors because a shutdown could affect Social Security payments, veterans’ payments, as well as create issues for Medicare, among many other things.
Key members of the Senate have been working to finalize the needed funding legislation and it is expected they will be able to finally pass it prior to the March 11 deadline. This, of course, is legislation they were supposed to have passed by the end of September of last year.
It seems that no matter which party is in control of Congress, they are not able to pass funding legislation on time.
* * * *
New Survey Shows Concerns About U.S. Drug Supply Chain
A survey conducted by US Pharmacopeia (USP) has revealed that seven of 10 US physicians say that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened drug supply chain problems, limiting their ability to provide quality patient care.
According to the survey:
- 95%of physicians surveyed believe COVID-19 revealed vulnerabilities in the medicines supply chain that are not going away.
- 90%are concerned that the global medicines supply chain may not be reliable in a time of crisis.
- 83%believe drug shortages have become a bigger problem in recent years.
- 73%feel their trust in the ability of the supply chain to deliver safe, quality medicines have eroded.
- A large majoritybelieve responsibility for keeping the supply chain resilient spans sectors and countries.
Clearly, Congress has a lot to do when it comes to ensuring a safe and reliable drug supply in the United States, beginning with lowering drug prices so that those who need them can afford them.
This is an on-going project of TSCL’s, and we will be working hard to first, lower drug prices, and then make sure the system is reliable.
* * * *
What’s Next for Drug Price Reduction?
As we reported last week, President Biden is still pushing Congress to pass legislation to lower drug prices and members of his staff are working on developing legislation that might gain enough support to pass the Senate.
In the meantime, others are looking for alternative ways to lower prices without legislation. Pressure is being put on the Biden administration to use its executive powers to reduce costs. In addition, one senator has introduced a bill to cap the price of insulin and other members of Congress are exploring other ways to lower some drug prices.
TSCL will continue to push for lower drug prices, and we will closely watch whatever new plans are developed to try and accomplish that.
* * * *
As we continue dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, TSCL remains constant in our fight for you to protect your Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. We’ve had to make some adjustments in the way we carry on our work, but we have not, and will not stop our work on your behalf.
For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen Social Security and Medicare programs, visit our website at www.SeniorsLeague.org or follow TSCL Facebook or on Twitter.