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.


President Signs One-Month Continuing Resolution

President Trump has signed a one-month stopgap spending bill to avoid a shutdown and extend current funding levels for the federal government through December 20. The bill (H.R. 3055) was advanced by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 231-192 and passed the Senate on Thursday, when the latest continuing resolution (CR) was set to expire, by a vote of 74-20. The CR provides lawmakers with additional time – approximately 15 days in session – to negotiate full-year appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which began October 1. The short-term spending bill would provide another month of funding for community health centers, federal diabetes programs, Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments, and other health programs. It would also increase funding for response efforts to the Ebola outbreak in Africa and delay for another month the cliff for Puerto Rico’s and other territories’ Medicaid funding.

It was reported on Saturday that House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) had reached an agreement on top-line spending figures to allocate the $1.37 trillion in annual government funding amongst the 12 appropriations bills, reducing the chance of a government shutdown just before the end of the year recess. With subcommittee allocations in place, appropriators can begin deciding the details of individual spending bills. While the specifics of the 302(b) allocations remain unknown, the deal is not expected to alter the latest bipartisan budget caps agreement, which set total defense and non-defense spending levels. Both Democratic and Republican leadership have indicated their hopes to complete FY 2020 appropriations by the end of the year, although that timeline is complicated by the current impasse on the President’s border wall funding request. The House has passed 10 of the 12 FY 2020 appropriations bills, while the Senate has passed four.

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