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.


Questions Remain about Budget/Appropriations, PPACA and Other Health Legislation

When Congress reconvenes January 6th members will have more questions than answers regarding the path that the 114th Congress will take in addressing important budget and health law decisions. House and Senate Republicans will hold their party retreats in mid-January to fashion the course the House and the new Republican majority in the Senate will pursue to finish fiscal year (FY) 2015 Department of Homeland Security appropriations, the FY 2016 budget resolution and respective appropriations, as well as critical decisions involving health care. Specifically, some of the key questions are:

When and how will Congress address the President’s immigration executive actions and extend funding beyond February 27, 2015 for the Department of Homeland Security?

Will House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) prevail in his desire to finish up the FY 2016 budget resolution on time and in regular order and gain agreement with the Senate on hard defense and non-defense spending caps (or will reconciliation caps prevail)?

Will the House and then the Senate take up FY 2016 appropriations bills individually before the new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2015 (including the always contentious Health and Human Services (HHS)/Education/Labor appropriations bill)?

Will Congress use budget reconciliation to reign in Medicare/Medicaid spending, accomplish tax reform, or repeal and replace portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and which provisions would meet the “Byrd Rule” requiring reconciliation provisions impact the federal budget to be germane.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare:
Will the Senate follow the House agenda to vote on a straight repeal of the PPACA, thus forcing a veto by President Obama?

Will the Supreme Court agree with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in King v. Burwell and overturn the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling that individuals residing in states that do not establish their own health insurance exchanges still become eligible for federal tax credit premium subsidies when electing coverage under HealthCare.gov?

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