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.
THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
- Senate Leadership Work to Advance Stopgap Spending Bill
- House Democrats Comment on Part B Demonstration
- Employers Take Steps to Avoid the Cadillac Tax
- Epi-Pen Controversy Continues
- Biden Announces New Moonshot Activities
- Upton Working on New Version of Cures
- Justice Department Announces Plan to Address Opioid Abuse
- Biosimilar User Fee Agreement Reached
- Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups
- Recently Introduced Health Legislation
- Recently Introduced Health Legislation cont.
Senate Leadership Work to Advance Stopgap Spending Bill
Following a meeting with the President, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he would begin moving forward on a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the
government through December 9. It is not yet known how much money will be included in the CR and whether or not it will be offset. The Majority Leader also announced that the CR will include funding to combat the Zika virus, though negotiations have been complicated by the decision on whether or not the bill should include controversial language relating to Planned Parenthood, which has previously drawn opposition from Senate Democrats. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mont.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been tasked with negotiating an agreement on this contentious issue. Negotiators are also discussing the possibility of including funds to address the opioid crisis in the stopgap-spending bill. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was passed earlier this year. The bill raised authorization levels but did not include any new money. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), sponsor of CARA, has said that he is involved in discussions about the addition of opioid funding to the CR, but the exact dollar amount that could be included is unknown. McConnell filed cloture on proceeding to H.R. 5325, the House fiscal year (FY) 2017 legislative branch appropriations bill, which is expected to be the vehicle for moving the shortterm spending legislation. He received unanimous consent to schedule the first procedural vote on the bill for 5:30 p.m. tonight, though the actual CR language has yet to be released. Finishing work on the CR as soon as possible would allow senators to return home to the campaign trail, and avoid a last-minute fight in the weeks preceding the November elections. This would also put pressure on the House to approve the CR in the Senate’s absence. The Senate is currently scheduled to be in session through the first week of October. Republican leadership in the House have yet to finalize a funding plan, though Speaker Ryan is attempting to garner support for a ten-week CR followed by votes on “minibuses” during the lame duck period. Lawmakers have until September 30 to pass a bill funding the federal government to avoid a shutdown.