WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, Vice Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, announced today that his legislation, the American Medical Innovation and Investment Act (H.R. 8816), to ensure our nation’s seniors have access to new and innovative cures and treatments, has passed the House Ways and Means Committee. The legislation is now cleared to be considered by the full U.S. House.

“I’m thrilled to announce that my legislation, the American Medical Innovation and Investment Act, passed unanimously out of the House Ways and Means Committee,” said Congressman Buchanan. “This critical package of bills will help ensure that our nation’s seniors have access to breakthrough new treatments to help them live longer, healthier and happier lives. I look forward to seeing this legislation move one step closer to becoming law and improving health outcomes for our nation’s most vulnerable population.”  

Buchanan’s legislation includes a number of important provisions championed by several of his colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee, including, Representative Darin LaHood, Lloyd Smucker, Nicole Malliotakis, Brian Fitzpatrick, Kevin Hern, Mike Kelly and David Schweikert.

Specifically, this legislation will: 

  • Help ensure coverage of potentially life-saving drugs and new treatments for America’s seniors, such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s, by prohibiting initial clinical trials of new drugs from lasting longer than 10 years. Currently, there is no definitive timeline for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make a coverage determination, oftentimes resulting in significant delays and barriers to treatment for patients.  

  • Require Medicare to clarify and update coverage for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled dosing devices and Prescription Digital Therapeutics (PDTs). This would provide important benefits to patients, such as mental health resources for veterans, while unlocking potential in new technologies.

  • Guarantee coverage of self-administered home infusion pumps to ensure people can receive treatment from the comfort and convenience of their homes.

  • Create a pilot program for medically tailored meals for seniors. 

  • Require cognitive impairment tests for Alzheimer’s to be conducted with up-to-date devices. 

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith praised Buchanan’s legislation, stating, “Our federal health regulations should help – not inhibit – new cures and devices coming to market that have the potential to save lives… I want to thank Health Subcommittee Chairman Buchanan for his leadership and support for patients across America.” 

Buchanan’s bill seeks to provide patients, caregivers, innovators and entrepreneurs with more transparency into CMS’ cumbersome coverage determination processes and more assurances that their products will not face unnecessary bureaucratic delays.

In an unprecedented move in 2022, bureaucrats at CMS unilaterally restricted coverage for the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (Aduhelm) in nearly two decades, despite prior approval from scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To protect similar drugs from future bureaucratic overreach, Buchanan previously introduced the Mandating Exclusive Review of Individual Treatments (MERIT) Act (H.R. 133) with Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA), which requires CMS to evaluate treatments and cures individually and based on their own merits, rather than as a broad class of drugs.

Earlier this year, Buchanan was awarded the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) Humanitarian Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. This prestigious award is given to policymakers dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease in Congress.

In addition to being the vice chairman and most senior Republican on the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Buchanan is also the chairman of the Health Subcommittee, which has broad jurisdiction over traditional Medicare, the Medicare prescription drug benefit program and Medicare Advantage.