POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - MAY 12, 2014


House Passes Research Tax Credit Bill


Before recessing until next week, the House passed H.R.4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014, on a vote of 274 to 131. Among other things, the legislation would provide for a permanent 20% tax credit for qualified or basic or research expenses that exceed 50% of such expenses for the preceding three tax years.


FY 2015 Appropriations Subcommittee Allocations


The House Appropriations Committee approved the 302(b) spending cap levels for all 12 subcommittees with the Labor/health and Human Services (HHS)/Education Subcommittee receiving $155.7 billion which is nearly $1 billion less than for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The $20.9 billion allocated for the Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Subcommittee basically flat-lined total funding for the programs under this subcommittee’s jurisdiction. The Senate Appropriations panels have yet to be given their spending instructions for FY 2015. At a hearing on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, Labor/HHS Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) said he would attempt to restore funding that the President’s budget would zero out relating to efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist other countries in creating similar agencies. The CDC testified that the $30 million in the President’s budget to help combat antimicrobial resistance is crucial to efforts to reduce the spread of the Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria. Senator Harkin also indicated his support of the $2.7 billion for community health center expansion in FY 2016-18, particularly given that Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandatory funding for such efforts is to end in FY 2015. In other budget news, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner said his agency is reallocating funds from other agency accounts to enforce requirements under the PPACA because Congress has not followed through with agency funding requests.



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