On March 22, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra testified before the Senate Finance Committee and fielded questions on President Biden’s FY 2024 budget proposal. Following Secretary Becerra’s testimony, Senators asked questions related to Medicare Advantage (MA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and drug price negotiation, Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBMs), surprise billing, and Alzheimer’s treatment. Specifically, Senate Finance and Appropriations members called on CMS to provide details on the MA advance notice over concerns the proposed 2.3% cut to MA plans beginning in 2024 will cause plans to reduce supplemental benefits to members. In addition, Senators demanded more transparency on CMS’ implementation of last year’s drug negotiation; Secretary Becerra responded that PBMs are on President Biden’s agenda and that the administration is working to address the growing concern that middlemen (PBMs) are responsible for elevated drug prices. Healthsperien attended the testimony, and full notes on the hearing are available here.