2023 Spring Policy Conference Hub

Welcome to ERIC’s 2023 Spring Policy Conference Hub!

This hub is home to all the information you need about ERIC’s Spring Policy Conference. We will continue to update it as we get closer to the conference. 

Tentative Schedule

Wednesday, April 19

Registration Opens & Lunch

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET)

Chairman’s Welcome

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. (ET)

View from The Hill: The 2023 Crystal Ball

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. (ET)

The majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate may have divergent legislative priorities, but bipartisan interest in improving the laws governing employee benefit plans remains. Which issues in health and retirement policy are on the radar this year for policymakers? Which issues could inspire bipartisanship? Are legislators likely to legislate in this issue space this year? Don’t miss this panel with key congressional staff.

In the Eye of the Storm – The Future of Federal, State, and Local Paid Leave Policy

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. (ET)

While the 2022 mid-term elections caused a range of political landscapes to shift, not only at the federal level but in state houses and city councils across the country, the national appetite for paid leave policy shows little sign of subsiding. As the patchwork of state and local laws continues to proliferate, employers are increasingly caught between their desire to provide valuable benefits to their employees and the array of incompatible and counterproductive compliance standards that they face jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction. At the same time, federal paid leave proponents are on the lookout for renewed support and momentum after paid leave reform language was ultimately left out of legislation last year.

What does this all mean for the future of paid leave policy? Join our exciting panel of policy experts for a discussion on where this critical issue is headed and how a refreshed perspective could open the door for lasting compromise.

The Defining Moment for Biosimilars: A Critical Year for Competition in the Biologic and Biosimilar Market 

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Millions of Americans receive their health benefits from self-insured employers who bear the brunt of the rising cost of prescription drugs, especially so-called “specialty drugs.” Employers, on average, spend $1,200 per person annually on prescription drugs alone, and the cost is expected to rise. With a bevy of new biosimilar products coming to market in 2023, including long-awaited competition for some of the most costly and highly-utilized specialty drugs, employers are watching the status of competition and formulary design. The increased adoption of biosimilar medicines represents a promising market-based solution that can bring significant savings to large employers, employees, retirees, and families – but will new therapies really lower costs for patients and employers?

Join us for a panel discussion on the state of biosimilar in the U.S. marketplace, the impacts on plan design, and what other policies are needed to benefit employers, their employees, and families.

Remarks & Conversation with Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) of the House Ways and Means Committee

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. (ET)

A Fireside Chat with Assistant Secretary of Labor of the Employee Benefits Security Administration Lisa Gomez

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. (ET)

ERIC policy staff will hold a discussion with Assistant Secretary Lisa Gomez of the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Assistant Secretary Gomez will highlight the  Biden administration’s priorities affecting large employers and the benefit plans offered to their workers nationwide.


5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Thank you to our generous sponsor!

Thursday, April 20


8:00 a.m. – 8:25 a.m. (ET)

Welcome & Introduction

8:25 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. (ET)

Private Sector Guide to Managing Congressional Inquiries

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (ET)

Divided government often leads to an emphasis on congressional oversight, and this oversight is increasingly focused on the private sector. Media reports are replete with stories of prominent members of Congress demanding information concerning the operation of private companies. Because employee benefits are so important, some of these inquiries have focused on health care, paid leave policies, and retirement plan administration, among other employment-related issues. What purpose do these requests serve? How is the information used? And what steps should your company consider if it becomes a target of congressional inquiries? An expert panel will discuss likely oversight in the 118th Congress, offer insights, and suggest best practices for employers who may be in the crosshairs.

Fireside Chat with Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) of the Senate Finance Committee

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (ET)

Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) is a current member of the Senate Finance Committee and Dean of Oregon’s congressional delegation. Chairman Wyden has long been a leader of health care and retirement politics, spearheading legislation in support of Medicare and Medicaid, lowering prescription drug costs, and 401(k) access.

As a member of the 118th Congress, Chairman Wyden will discuss his vision for the Senate Finance Committee, including policies relating to the single and multiemployer pension system, health care cost and transparency, telehealth expansion, prescription drugs, and retirement security, mental health, and more.

From Clinic to Courtroom – Legislation and Litigation Limiting Prescription Practices

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (ET)

Considerable efforts have been made in recent years to reduce the runaway health care costs that workers and employers increasingly face. Perhaps the most contentious area of this developing health care fight surrounds prescription drug practices, which have seen broad expansion in recent years but are now under renewed fire from opponents. State legislators and regulators are considering everything from telehealth prescribing standards, to specialty “white/brown bagging” services, to abortion medication access, and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers. Join our panel discussion to learn more about the prescription drug policies that are emerging on the state level, the legal standards at issue in related litigation, and what is at stake for employer-sponsored health plans at large.


11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. (ET)

A Conversation with Chairman Mike Kelly (R-PA) of the Tax Policy Subcommittee, House Ways and Means Committee

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (ET)

Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) is a current member of the Ways and Means Committee. As a U.S. representative since 2011, Congressman Kelly is an advocate of large plan sponsors, introducing bills that address Health Savings Accounts, mental health in the workplace, SECURE 2.0, and other prominent ERISA issues. He represents Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional district, his home state.

Congressman Kelly will discuss the agenda for the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and his leadership relating to Health Savings Accounts, the single and multiemployer pension system, telehealth expansion, and retirement security. 


12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET)

When Legislators Defer to Regulators: Implementing SECURE 2.0

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (ET)

The recently-enacted SECURE 2.0 Act includes a comprehensive package of changes to ERISA and the Tax Code applicable to retirement plans. In addition to these changes, the legislation contains numerous directives for regulatory agency guidance and reports. Which provisions left significant discretion to regulators? Which rules will be issued, and when? And how can ERIC support plan sponsors to ensure that the ensuing regulations do not add needless burdens? Panelists will help you navigate this evolving landscape.

Raffle & Closing Remarks

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. (ET)

Thank you to our generous sponsors!



*ERIC Antitrust Statement: As a reminder, all ERIC meetings and activities are to be conducted in full compliance with the ERIC Antitrust Policy. The antitrust laws prohibit competitors from agreeing on prices to be charged or otherwise taking steps that harm free and fair competition among them. While ERIC’s primary mission and activities are entirely consistent with the antitrust laws, if you have any concerns about a particular topic or discussion, please raise it with ERIC staff.