The GOP’s post-election health priorities – POLITICO – POLITICO

With Adam Cancryn

Republicans are looking to set a new health plan agenda for 2023. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A 2023 HEALTH AGENDA — Republicans, poised to take control of the House, are already planning their first moves in the new Congress.

Outside of abortion, healthcare topics — and the pandemic in particular — were conspicuously absent from a number of campaigns during the midterms. But new GOP strategies are likely to change that.

House Republicans are already planning investigations into the government’s pandemic response, according to a House GOP aide granted anonymity to freely discuss the plans with Pulse. Other priorities include addressing fentanyl’s role in the opioid crisis and reigning in the Biden administration’s pandemic responses.

Senate Republicans share many of those targets. The office of Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), who is on the Senate HELP Committee, told Pulse in a statement Wednesday that a top priority for his GOP brethren is investigating the origins and responses to Covid-19, among plans to lower health costs and spur innovation among drugmakers.

Many of the Republicans’ goals will be out of reach without the power to override a veto, but a few issues still remain top of mind.

Oversight, oversight, oversight: “Thanks for coming out to Dr. Fauci’s retirement party!” Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday after being reelected to his Kentucky seat. The quip was a sign of the direction Republicans might take next year as they try to keep the investigations into the Biden administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic front and center ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will likely probe Covid-19’s origins, including the CDC’s pandemic response, how pandemic relief dollars have been spent and Anthony Fauci’s role in approving research programs considered controversial among Republicans. House Republican leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 15, and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), currently the committee’s ranking member, is in line to take the gavel.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee also plans to look into the Biden administration’s Covid-19 policies, including school shutdowns and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s plans to implement the new drug price controls.

The future of federal Covid responses: Attempts earlier this year to pass legislation for additional funding to fight Covid-19 (and monkeypox) were dealt a blow by GOP leadership, and President Joe Biden’s comment that the pandemic was over added to resistance …….


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