Capitol Perspectives

The Capitol Perspectives column is written by John McManus, president and founder of The McManus Group, a consulting firm specializing in strategic policy and political counsel and advocacy for healthcare clients with issues before Congress and the administration. Prior to founding his firm, McManus served Chairman Bill Thomas as the staff director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, where he led the policy development, negotiations, and drafting of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. Before working for Chairman Thomas, McManus worked for Eli Lilly & Company as a senior associate and for the Maryland House of Delegates as a research analyst.
  • New Swipes At Rx Industry Despite Stable Costs

    On the last full day of President Trump’s tumultuous presidency, CMS released a proposal to dramatically restrict access to Part D drugs for patients with serious medical conditions.

  • Most Favored Nation Pricing Temporarily Halted By Courts

    In late December, the courts halted President Trump’s international reference-pricing scheme, the Most Favored Nation model, saying the administration had improperly attempted to implement a radical change in Medicare reimbursement policy.

  • Most Favored Nation Regulation Could Upend The Rx Market

    Buried on page 184 of President Trump’s interim final rule (IFR) implementing his “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) drug proposal is Table 11, which projects 19% lower utilization of Medicare Part B medications due to “no access.” 

  • Election Fallout: Can Divided Government Forge Bipartisan Solutions?

    As the election concludes, we still face new changes to healthcare policy, pharma price-controls, taxes, and a staggering debt.

  • Implementation Of MFN, Importation, And Other Mischief In 2020

    As the election nears and a potential change in power of both the White House and Congress approaches, it is important to understand that significant healthcare policy can still be accomplished this year.

  • Democratic And Republican Health Priorities In The Next Administration

    With the conventions and a contentious summer behind them, both political parties are laying out their agendas for the next four years. What are the Democratic and Republican health priorities?

  • Trump Threatens Rx Industry With Executive Orders

    As Trump’s one-month deadline for a deal with PhRMA ticks away, nervous pharmaceutical executives are equally dismissive and anxious about the next actions of an often-impulsive president.

  • Democratic House Passes Rx Price Controls Amid Pandemic

    During this COVID-19 crisis, government should be collaborating closely with industry to promote innovation that will save lives, improve health and bring back prosperity that can come with safely reopening the economy. Yet, it is astonishing that House Democrats have chosen the opposite path.

  • More Nuanced Approach Needed To Fight COVID-19

    When will COVID-based decisions by politicians be guided by mounting data that suggests targeted approaches to containing the pandemic would be beneficial for both the vulnerable and the rest of the population, which must get on living their lives and providing for their families.

  • Assisting Millions Of Uninsured Bogged Down In Abortion Politics

    Controversies over COBRA and abortion coupled with a decline in elective medical procedures plague the healthcare system during this COVID-19 crisis. 

  • $2 Trillion CARES Act Attempts To Keep Health System Afloat

    Just weeks ago, America had the lowest unemployment rate in history, the stock market was setting record highs, and the political system had become so poisoned that the speaker of the House and the president, fresh off the Senate acquittal of impeachment articles, were not speaking to each other. That seems like a  dream that was eons ago.

  • “Surprise Medical Bills” May Displace Rx Drugs As Healthcare Focus In 2020

    The same politics that fuel patient ire at the drug industry for rising out-of-pocket costs manifest in the other major focus of health legislation this year: “surprise medical bills,” which occur when a patient receives care from an out-of-network healthcare provider.

  • Impeachment Halts Health Policy Advancement As Coronavirus Spreads

    As the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump dragged into the latter half of the second week, the wheels of healthcare policy development have ground to a halt.

  • The Bipartisan Dismemberment Of The ACA

    Hours after the House of Representatives impeached President Donald J. Trump, it passed a gargantuan omnibus appropriation package costing $1.4 trillion in 2020 that continues the bipartisan unravelling of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) by repealing three taxes critical to its financing: the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, the medical device excise tax, and the health insurance tax. Together, their repeal costs the federal government $373.3 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.


  • MAPS: Walking The Talk On Intellectual Property?

    Did MAPS, a leader in the psychedelic medicines space, just make good on its promise to share its intellectual property, as opposed to wielding it against competitors?

  • Where Patients Meet Policy: The EveryLife Foundation For Rare Diseases

    The year before he founded Ultragenyx, Emil Kakkis created the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, a nonprofit patient advocacy organization focused on the “equitable development of and access to lifesaving diagnoses, treatments, and cures.” We caught up with Annie Kennedy, chief of policy and advocacy at the EveryLife Foundation, to learn more about the issues and policies the foundation is prioritizing this year.

  • Ever Learn A Lesson The Hard Way?

    Bernard Coulie, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Pliant Therapeutics, a company developing treatments for fibrotic diseases, shares a lesson learned the hard way involving an exit from a previous startup.


  • The decision by J.P. Morgan to make the 2022 annual healthcare conference fully virtual, inspires reflection on the past and advocacy for the future, in this final blog by Rob Wright, retired chief editor, Life Science Leader.

  • Three biopharmaceutical executives discuss plans around their company getting back to in-office operations.