POLICY BRIEFINGS


Policymakers Consider CR, Border Wall Ahead of Nov. 21 Deadline


White House Office of Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland stated that the President is open to another stopgap spending bill to fund the government past November 21, when the current continuing resolution (CR) expires, as long as it does not include any restrictions on border wall spending. The White House is currently in conversations with appropriators regarding both regular order spending bills as well as a short-term spending measure, according to Ueland. Negotiations among congressional lawmakers are stalled over the question of top-line spending levels, though there is general agreement that another continuing resolution will be necessary. The potential length of such a CR is still undecided.


Freshman Lawmakers Push for HIT Delay


Reps. John Joyce (R-Pa.) and Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.) have sent a letter to House leadership requesting quick action to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) for 2020 and 2021. The lawmakers assert that the tax would result in premium increases for approximately 142 million Americans. Congress previously suspended the tax for 2019 as a part of a continuing resolution (CR) signed into law last year. “As Congress considers policies to bring down health care costs, acting immediately to extend a moratorium on the HIT for 2020 and beyond is a step Congress can take now to protect individuals and families, seniors, and small businesses from higher health care costs,” they state. The letter was co-signed by over 50 other lawmakers from both parties – more than half of the freshman class.


Medicaid Work Requirements Lose in KY, VA Elections


Efforts to strengthen state Medicaid programs saw wins in several elections last week. In the race for Kentucky governor, Democrat Andy Beshear defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, whose policy to institute work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries is currently tied up in court. Beshear has stated that he will quickly reverse the proposed changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program. In Virginia, Democrats regained control of the state legislature. The party will now have enough votes to roll back the work requirements conceded to Republicans when the state expanded its Medicaid program two years ago.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing “Examining the Response to Lung Illnesses and Rising Youth Electronic Cigarette Use;” 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; November 13

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health markup of H.R.2339, the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act,” H.R. 4995, the “Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019,” H.R.4996, “the Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act of 2019,” and H.R.2387, the “Stop The Overuse of Petitions and Get Affordable Medicines to Enter Soon (STOP GAMES) Act;” 10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.; November 13

House Committee on Small Business hearing “Upskilling the Medical Workforce: Opportunities in Health Innovation;” 11:30 a.m., 2360 Rayburn Bldg.; November 13

House Committee on Ways and Means hearing “Caring for Aging Americans;” 10:00 a.m., 1100 Longworth Bldg.; November 14

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology markup of legislation including H.R. 4704, Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act;” 10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Bldg.; November 14

House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing “Examining State Efforts to Undermine Access to Reproductive Health Care;” 2:00 p.m., 2154 Rayburn Bldg.; November 14

Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of Stephen M. Hahn, MD, to serve as Commissioner of Food and Drugs; 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; November 20

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel hearing to examine testimony about servicemember, family, and veteran suicides and prevention strategies; 2:30 p.m., 222 Russell Bldg.; December 4


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.4974 — To amend the Controlled Substances Act to require physicians and other prescribers of controlled substances to complete training on treating and managing patients with opioid and other substance use disorders (which shall also satisfy certain training required to receive a waiver for dispensing narcotic drugs for maintenance or detoxification treatment), and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Trahan, Lori [D-MA-3]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Judiciary

H.R.4989 — To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award a grant to a health care organization to promote student access to defibrillation in elementary and secondary schools, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Lawson, Al, Jr. [D-FL-5]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor

H.R.4985 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish, at the request of an eligible veteran, nursing home care and hospital care at State licensed or certified residential care facilities; Sponsor: Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.4982 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for treatment of certain respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures for purposes of targeted liability protections for pandemic and epidemic products and security countermeasures, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Bacon, Don [R-NE-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4980 — To assist States, tribes, territories, counties, and cities in implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

S.2772 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for treatment of clinical psychologists as physicians for purposes of furnishing clinical psychologist services under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2774 — A bill to direct the Attorney General to establish and carry out a Veteran Treatment Court Program; Sponsor: Sen. McSally, Martha [R-AZ]; Committees: Senate – Judiciary

S.2777 — A bill to assist States, tribes, territories, counties, and cities in implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2785 — A bill to set forth a method of determining maximum out-of-pocket limits and annual updates to premium tax credit eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Sponsor: Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2793 — A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require coverage without a deductible of certain primary care services by high deductible health plans; Sponsor: Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. [I-ME]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2807 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve the quality of care furnished by hospice programs under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2812 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a Medicare payment option for patients and eligible professionals to freely contract, without penalty, for Medicare fee-for-service items and services, while allowing Medicare beneficiaries to use their Medicare benefits; Sponsor: Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.2817 — A bill to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish an annual reference price for insulin products for purposes of Federal health programs, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2821 — A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow a veteran to receive a full year supply of contraceptive pills, transdermal patches, and vaginal rings, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL]; Committees: Senate - Veterans’ Affairs

S.2822 — A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop and maintain a suicide risk management and prevention and lethal means training course for certain employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL]; Committees: Senate - Veterans’ Affairs



November 11, 2019: | Page 1 Page 2

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BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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