Zika Funding Proposal Scheduled for House and Senate Vote
Both the House and Senate are expected to vote on Zika funding proposals this week, ending several weeks of disputes on the issue. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced H.R.__, the Zika Response Appropriations Act, 2016, will be considered on the House Floor. House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) is expected to introduce the legislation, reported to include less than a billion dollars in federal funds, on Monday. The Senate is also considering a Zika funding package that will include $1.1 billion in emergency funding. The Senate funding is on top of the $589 million redirected from the Administration’s last emergency funding request for the Ebola virus, bringing the total amount of money available to fight Zika to $1.6 billion. Neither the House nor Senate proposals meet the $1.9 billion funding level requested by the Administration to address the Zika crisis.
The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Examines the Administration’s Part B Drug Payment Model
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 17, titled “The Obama Administration’s Medicare Drug Experiment: The Patient and Doctor Perspective.” The hearing is expected to focus on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed Part B Drug Payment Model rule. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is concerned with the proposal, including Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), who introduced H.R. 5122 to prohibit further action on the proposed rule regarding testing of Medicare Part B drug models.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, May 17: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “The Obama Administration’s Medicare Drug Experiment: The Patient and Doctor Perspective.”
- Tuesday, May 17: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Synthetic Drugs, Real Danger.”
- Tuesday, May 17: The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Tax-Related Proposals to Improve Health Care.”
- Tuesday, May 17: The House Rules Committee will hold a meeting on H.R. 4909, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017; H.R. 4974, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017; and H.R.___, Zika Response Appropriations Act of 2016.
- Tuesday, May 17: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “America’s Insatiable Demand for Drugs: Assessing the Federal Response.”
- Wednesday, May 18: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing to review the VA electronic health record network (VistA), progress toward interoperability with Department of Defense electronic health record system, and plans for the future.
- Wednesday, May 18: The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources will hold a hearing titled “The Heroin Epidemic and Parental Substance Abuse: Using Evidence and Data to Protect Kids from Harm.”
- Wednesday, May 18: The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Small Business Struggle Under Obamacare.”
- Thursday, May 19: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Examining H.R. 3299, Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act.”
- Friday, May 20: The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Assessing VA Oversight of Drug Prescription Practices and Proper Use of Medical Facilities.”
ACA Non-Discrimination Regulation Released by HHS
On Friday, May 13, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which implements nondiscrimination policies. The rule forbids discrimination “on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability” in various health programs and activities. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2016, and will take effect on July 18, 2016.
Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) Convenes Thursday, May 19
- 9:30 am session titled “Review and Vote on Conflict of Interest Policy”
- 11:00 am session titled “Briefing on Final Managed Care Rule”
- 11:45 am session titled “Issues in Forthcoming Proposed Rule on Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) and Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC)”
- 1:15 pm session titled “Key Components and Decision Points for the Future of CHIP Children’s Coverage”
- 2:00 pm session titled “Premium Assistance for Purchase of Employer Coverage under CHIP”
- 2:45 pm session titled “Review of Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office Report to Congress”
- 3:15 pm session titled “Review of HHS Report to Congress on Community First Choice”
- 4:00 pm session titled “Next Steps for MACPAC Work on Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments”