Many Americans across the political spectrum are clamoring for federal action on guns in the wake of a mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store and hundreds of other places.
But buried in a bipartisan compromise hashed out by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday is an unrelated provision they might not be so happy about. Apropos of nothing, the gun bill would enhance the exemption drug middlemen working with Medicare have from the federal “Anti-Kickback Statute.”
That means, in this era of soaring costs, Senate negotiators decided to further insulate the nation’s largest health care companies from a federal law against accepting “any kickback, bribe, or rebate” — using a bill that’s supposedly about regulating guns.
The offices of the two lead negotiators, Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
— Marty Schladen in Deep inside the gun bill: a break for prescription drug middlemen