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.


WH Rescission Proposal to Be Smaller Than Originally Expected

The Trump Administration has decided to request no more than $25 billion in its forthcoming rescission package, according to Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Appropriations Labor/HHS Subcommittee. This is less than the amount originally anticipated since package of cuts to fall in the range of $30 to $60 billion. While some of the funding will be pulled from the most recent omnibus spending deal, the White House is also expected to rescind unspent funding from prior years. The package could be just the first of several claw backs to come from the Trump administration this year and is expected to be released after lawmakers return from a week-long recess on May 7. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney hopes the House will vote on the proposal before July.

VA Nominee Withdraws from Consideration

Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson has withdrawn his name from consideration as the President’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The decision followed a report from the New York Times on allegations that Jackson allowed drugs to be overprescribed, drank excessively, and oversaw a hostile work environment. Jackson maintains that the allegations are “false and fabricated.” The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee had indefinitely postponed his confirmation hearing after concerns were raised about his background and qualifications. The White House defended their nominee, citing his record of bipartisan service and “strong, decisive leadership,” and left the decision to withdraw the nomination to Jackson. President Trump has stated that he has a new nominee in mind with more political experience, but has declined to say who it is. Former House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller’s name has been floated; Miller helped design the VA Choice program during his time in Congress. President and CEO of Ascension Anthony Tersigni is also among those being considered to lead the department. Dr. Jackson will not return to his role as the president’s personal physician. Rather, Dr. Sean Conley, a naval officer, will continue to serve as the White House physician after he took over the position last month.

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