A proposal by Republican Reps. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Sanford Bishop of Georgia would get rid of a “grandfather” clause that requires companies selling cigars, pipe tobacco, and vapor products such as e-cigarettes after Feb. 15, 2007 to disclose their ingredients and prove that their products meet the applicable public health standards set by the law.
Stat: E-Cigarettes Would Be Excluded From Some Regulations Under New Proposal
Congressional supporters of the tobacco industry have wasted no time in proposing legislation to help e-cigarette companies escape rules adopted under President Barack Obama. In what Republican Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.) and Sanford Bishop (Ga.) described as a “clarification,” the two introduced a bill Thursday that would revise Food and Drug Administration rules governing the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes and cigars. (Kaplan, 2/16)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
CQ Roll Call: Senate Appropriators Signal Interest In Mental Health Funding
Senate appropriators signaled an interest in supporting mental health funding at a hearing Wednesday, appearing particularly interested in finding a way to address provider shortages in underserved areas. Witnesses at the hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education told lawmakers that attracting professionals to the field is the most pressing need. Some urged Republicans to consider the importance of the Medicaid expansion under the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) in expanding coverage of mental health services. (Siddons, 2/15)
Kaiser Health News: Right-To-Die Fight Hits National Stage
Melissa Bailey reports: “Opponents of aid-in-dying laws are claiming a small victory. They won the attention of Congress this week in their battle to stop a growing movement that allows terminally ill patients to get doctors’ prescriptions to end their lives. The Republican-led effort on Capitol Hill to overturn the District of Columbia’s aid-in-dying law could fail by Friday. But advocates worry the campaign will catalyze a broader effort to fully ban the practice, which is legal in six states and being considered in 22 more.” (Bailey, 2/16)
Kaiser Health News: Congressman’s Ties To Foreign Biotech Draw Criticism
When a small Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, needed a clinical trial for an experimental drug it hoped to turn into a huge moneymaker, the company landed a U.S. partner where it had high-level connections: Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. The company is partly owned by Rep. Chris Collins, a wealthy Republican entrepreneur from Buffalo, whose enthusiasm for Innate helped persuade others to invest. (Bluth and Kopp, 2/17)
The Baltimore Sun: Cummings Contradicts Trump Over Meeting On Drug Prices
President Donald Trump blamed Rep. Elijah E. Cummings on Thursday for failing to schedule a meeting about the cost of prescription drugs, suggesting the Baltimore Democrat didn’t want to come to the White House because it was “bad politics.” Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, disputed that characterization, saying the president had made it up. The congressman said he has been waiting to schedule a meeting until he has crafted a prescription drug bill for the president to consider. (Fritze, 2/16)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.