October 29, 2021
As negotiations on the infrastructure and larger social spending bills continue among lawmakers, the House released the Build Back Better legislative text which is still subject to change as Democrats try to reach a final deal that can pass Congress.
As currently drafted, the Build Back Better framework includes the following notable provisions:
Federal paid family and medical leave was not included nor was a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. However, it is still possible that these proposals could be included in a final deal.
HR Policy Association has been sharing with lawmakers that our members understand the importance of paid family and medical leave and have experience with the implementation of benefits. Earlier this year, we urged lawmakers to consider member issues and questions related to a federal paid FMLA program. Depending on the outcome of the Build Back Better Act, the Association will continue to work with lawmakers to find a long-term, workable solution on paid leave to complement existing employer-provided benefits.
Similarly, the Association has been advocating in support of Chairman Wyden’s principles for drug pricing reform, which aim to lower Medicare drug prices and extend those reforms to employer plans. As negotiations continue, we will advocate that employers should have access to Medicare-negotiated prices, if a proposal is included in a final package.
Outlook: Negotiations on the infrastructure and social spending bills are subject to change in the next few days. It is possible that some of the proposals not currently included will be added to garner additional Democratic support. According to Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), “The deal is not done until the Senate acts.”