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.


Expect FY 2017 Budget Resolution by January 9

A revised and simplified fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget resolution will be brought to the House floor for a vote the week of January 9, according to a memo from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman-elect Greg Walden (R-Ore.). The memo indicates that the budget resolution will be considered by the Senate the previous week, though Senate leadership has not confirmed their plans or timeline for a budget resolution. The resolution is expected to include instructions for budget reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a task that would be handled in part by the Energy and Commerce Committee. The use of the reconciliation procedure would allow ACA repeal to pass the Senate with only 51 votes, rather than the usual three-fifths majority required for passage. The memo notes plans to mark up the reconciliation measure the week of January 30. President Obama plans to meet with congressional Democrats on January 4 to discuss how to protect the ACA from Republican efforts to repeal it. Democratic leadership is also calling for a day of action to counter Republican efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law. In a letter to their colleagues, incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for mobilization through rallies and events on January 15, dubbed “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.” The letter also cautions against an overhaul of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Democrats Urge Trump to Prioritize Drug Prices

Senate Democrats have written to President-elect Donald Trump requesting that his administration prioritize prescription drug price reform. The letter was led by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) and signed by 17 of their Senate Democratic colleagues. “You now have the authority to push for a future that prioritizes patients,” the senators write. “We are ready to advance measures to achieve this goal and we urge you to partner with Republicans and Democrats alike to take meaningful steps to address the high cost of prescription drugs through bold administrative and legislative actions.” The lawmakers outline ways in which the new administration could work in this area, including allowing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate drug prices, supporting legislation that would address unjustified price increases, and improving competition in the marketplace.

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