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.


Appropriations Issues

Last week the House Appropriations Committee passed H.R. 4870, the FY 2015 appropriations bill for the Department of Defense and related agencies which the House of Representatives will take up this week. It appears that, with the primary defeat and July 1st resignation of Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) as House Majority Leader, further consideration in the House of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appropriations bill will be put off until later this summer. The House Appropriations Committee will meet on Wednesday to consider revisions to its initial decisions on 302(b) allocations. The Defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee has also scheduled a hearing on proposed FY 2015 appropriations for programs under its jurisdiction. While the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education approved by voice vote its version of the FY 2015 $156.8 billion spending bill (which includes $30.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $605 million increase), its fate is uncertain given that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has instructed the Senate Appropriations Committee to put off consideration (i.e., mark up) of the bill. It may be that the Senate will wait until after the November elections to package up this bill and other more controversial spending bills into an omnibus appropriations measure to be considered during the lame-duck session. However, the Senate is scheduled to debate H.R. 4660, the FY 2015 mini-omnibus bill which includes appropriations for the following agencies: Agriculture/FDA; Commerce/Justice/Science; and Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Senate is also expected to soon take up the H.R. 4486, the FY 2015 Military Construction/Veterans Affairs (VA) bill which was reported by the chamber’s appropriations committee in May.

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