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.


House Acts on FY 2015 Appropriations Bills; Senate Stalls

Last week the House passed H.R. 4870, the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Act, which appropriates $491 billion in discretionary budget authority (an increase of about $4.1 billion) in accord with the House’s adherence to the $1.014 trillion cap under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013. In the Senate it was another story when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) halted consideration of H.R. 4660 which the Senate Appropriations Committee used to develop a “minibus” for three FY 2015 spending measures: Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Commerce/Justice/Science, and Transportation/House and Urban Development (HUD) agencies. The bill was pulled when agreement could not be reached on amendments that Republicans wanted to offer, including overturning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule on carbon pollution standards. Also, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government released its FY 2015 appropriations bill which includes policy riders that, among other things, would deny funding for the implementation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the tax provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and require the U.S. Department of Treasury to submit monthly reports to Congress documenting how many individuals have not paid the full premium the preceding month for coverage under the law.

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