Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, speaks during a nomination hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. The Trump administration's pick for solicitor of labor would be charged with overseeing one of the largest government legal shops and have independent authority to file lawsuits enforcing some 180 federal workplace statutes. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)

Sen. Lamar Alexander today said that the new must-based spending bill — the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020″ bill — leaves out the health care market transparency provisions from S. 1895, the “Lower Health Care Costs Act” bill.

The announcement appears to mean that health insurance agents and brokers are safe for now from an S. 1895 health insurance producer compensation provision.

(Related: Health Producer Comp Bill Flies Through Senate Committee)

Section 308 of S. 1895, which was part of the health care cost transparency section of the bill, would have required group health brokers to provide detailed compensation reports for their clients.

The provision would have required health insurers to give the insureds detailed reports on the compensation going to the insureds’ individual health insurance agents and brokers.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, reported last week that he had reached an agreement with congressional Democrats on provisions from S. 1895 related to matters such as keeping people with health insurance from being affected by unexpected medical bills, due either to use of emergency care, or due to use of in-network facilities served, in at least some cases, by out-of-network health care professionals.

Alexander and other members of Congress who talked about the bipartisan agreement last did not mention what had happened to the producer compensation provision. They did not provide the text of the legislation associated with the bipartisan agreement, or a detailed summary of the agreement.

Members of Congress are now considering efforts to impeach President Donald Trump. They are also considering theF CAA 2020 package. Congress has to pass the FCAA 2020 legislation to keep the government from shutting down Friday.

In the new announcement, Alexander says the spending appropriations legislation does include the following provisions from S. 1895:

  • The CREATES Act generic drug competition provisions.
  • Two biological drug competition provisions, which could lower the cost of insulin.
  • A Tobacco 21 provision that would increase the minimum tobacco purchasing age to 21.
  • The Kay Hagan Tick Act, which would promote efforts to fight diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas.

The appropriations package does include any of the surprise billing, health care market transparency provisions, public health program funding measures, or prescription drug cost control measures from S. 1895.

Members of the Senate HELP Committee voted 20-3 in support of S. 1895 in June.

The only committee members who voted against the bill were Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.

— Read Key Health Bill Draft Includes Agent Comp Disclosure Section, on ThinkAdvisor.

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