ONDCP Falls Short on SUPPORT Act Requirements

Auditors at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have found that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has failed to meet statutory requirements mandated by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was signed into law last year. Among other issues, the GAO found that ONDCP has not yet developed a proposal to expand treatment for substance use disorders or published an online, searchable dashboard with drug control information and data on quantities of drugs and frequency of use. According to the GAO, the agency has also failed to submit its annual national drug control strategy in 2017 and 2018, as required.

Women’s Caucus Pushes for Increased Investment in STD Prevention

The bipartisan Women’s Caucus is requesting information from HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield about what the administration is doing to address record rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. “It is imperative that the administration undertake initiatives and allocate resources to mitigate the STD epidemic,” the letter states. The government funding package approved last week included a small increase in funding for STD prevention at the CDC, but far less than the amount included in the House’s spending bill. The lawmakers request a briefing on the issue by March 1.

Dem Health Leaders Raise Concerns About Idaho’s Insurance Marketplace

Four-term North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows (R) announced that he will not be running for re-election and instead plans to retire from Congress. Meadows is a top ally of the President on Capitol Hill, and some have speculated that he could go on to join the Trump Administration. Meadows has definitively stated that he does not plan to make a bid for the Senate in 2022, when Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) plans to retire. Meadows represents the 11th District of North Carolina, which is expected to remain in GOP control.

Recently Introduced Health Legislation

H.R.5429 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to enable greater participation by seniors and Medicare beneficiaries in State Medicaid programs for working people with disabilities; Sponsor: Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.5432 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to count toward the determination of full time equivalency for graduate medical education under the Medicare program time spent in an approved medical residency training program for training in culturally and linguistically appropriate care; Sponsor: Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie [D-FL-26]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.5438 — To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to award grants to develop programs to increase health care providers’ awareness of Valley fever, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Cox, TJ [D-CA-21]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.5440 — To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide financial assistance to eligible entities to provide and coordinate the provision of post-traumatic stress disorder prevention services for veterans through the award of grants to such entities, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Meadows, Mark [R-NC-11]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.5442 — To amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act and title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require pharmacies to disclose any differential between the cost of a prescription drug based on whether certain individuals use prescription drug coverage to acquire such drug, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Porter, Katie [D-CA-45]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.5443 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to clarify that the provision of home and community-based services is not prohibited in an acute care hospital, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Scanlon, Mary Gay [D-PA-5]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

S.3057 — A bill to modernize the Older Americans Act of 1965, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.3058 — A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish fair and consistent eligibility requirements for graduate medical schools operating outside the United States and Canada; Sponsor: Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

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