POLICY BRIEFINGS


Dear Colleague on Delay of Health Insurance Tax


A bipartisan group of senators is pushing for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance tax to be delayed until 2022. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter seeking support for the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act (S. 172), which would delay the fee on health insurance plans for 2020 and 2021. According to the letter, the tax would impose an additional $16 billion in taxes on health plans that could then be passed down to consumers and small businesses.


New Study Finds Improvement in Physician Burnout


The Mayo Clinic has released the results of a new study evaluating the prevalence of burnout and satisfaction with worklife integration among physicians and other U.S. workers. Researchers found that while physicians remain at increased risk for burnout relative to workers in other fields, satisfaction with work-life integration among physicians improved between 2014 and 2017. Physician burnout currently stands near 2011 levels, with 45 percent of U.S. physicians showing at least one manifestation of professional burnout (e.g., emotional exhaustion or depersonalization).


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Meetings


SSenate Finance Committee hearing “Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II;” 10:15 a.m., 215 Dirksen Bldg.; February 26

Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on measles outbreak and response efforts; 10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.; February 27

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing to examine policy principles for a Federal data privacy framework in the United States; 10:00 a.m., 216 Hart Bldg.; February 27

House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing “Caring for Our Caregivers: Protecting Health Care and Social Service Workers from Workplace Violence;” 2:00 p.m., 2175 Rayburn Bldg.; February 27

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies hearing to examine addressing the opioid epidemic in America, focusing on prevention, treatment, and recovery at the state and local level; 10:00 a.m., 124 Dirksen Bldg.; February 28

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing “Vaccines Save Lives: What is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks?” 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; March 5

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies hearing to examine the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other emerging health threats; 10:00 a.m., 124 Dirksen Bldg.; March 14


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.1301 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of certain mental health telehealth services; Sponsor: Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means

H.R.1302 — To authorize the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, acting through the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, to award grants to States to expand access to clinically appropriate services for opioid abuse, dependence, or addiction; Sponsor: Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.1303 — To direct the Comptroller General of the United States to evaluate and report on the in-patient and outpatient treatment capacity, availability, and needs of the United States; Sponsor: Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources



February 25, 2019: | Page 1 Page 2

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