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Congress

June 21, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine said she wants to prioritize children’s mental health along with other research, treatment and recovery issues, saying the National Institute of Mental Health is in a unique position to study and rectify COVID-19's impact on youth mental health.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus want FDA to prioritize reviewing applications for tests that measure the presence of T-cell immunity to COVID-19, rather than focusing only on reviewing and authorizing applications for rapid diagnostics, point-of-care tests and variant diagnostics.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee members are focusing on how to build the country’s mental health care system as the number of Americans reporting anxiety or depression has nearly quadrupled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet more than 56% of adults did not receive any mental health treatment in the past year.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) and ranking Republican Tim Scott (R-SC) agreed at a Thursday (June 17) hearing that more thought needs to be given to home- and community-based services policy, but Casey hailed President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion in HCBS as the way forward while Scott said a more person-centered, local approach is needed.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced a bill Thursday (June 17) that would allow county, city or other local governments to expand Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level in states that have yet to expand coverage to that level.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) on Thursday (June 17) pressed President Joe Biden to quickly nominate a permanent FDA commissioner who is “more suited to lead” the agency than current acting chief Janet Woodcock and who can be held accountable for and answer questions about agency decisions, including the controversial approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm (aducanumab).

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Public Citizen has asked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to remove or request resignations from acting FDA chief Janet Woodcock and agency officials Patrizia Cavazzoni and Billy Dunn due to their role in the controversial approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm (aducanumab), a decision sparking new calls for a permanent FDA leader and refueling debate over whether Woodcock is right for that role.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers are pushing a revised version of their legislation to spur development of new antibiotics through a subscription-style reimbursement model for antimicrobial drugs.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

More than 20 House Republicans, including several members of the GOP Doctors Caucus, wrote to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Tuesday (June 15) urging him to invest in and pursue vigorous new research and development of COVID-19 therapies, including those that can help with variants, coming amid reports the agency has no further plans to look into new COVID-19 therapeutic candidates.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) reportedly plans to introduce a bill Wednesday (June 16) that aims to bring medical product manufacturing to the United States and prevent shortages by providing a tax incentive for products made in certain U.S. areas and creating a new approval pathway for advanced manufacturing technologies.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

The Federation for American Hospitals (FAH) on Tuesday offered three recommendations for the surprise billing rulemaking: The administration should ensure adequate stakeholder engagement, avoid policies that would create de facto benchmarks based on qualified payment amounts or advantage health plans over providers, and ensure notice and consent provisions allow exceptions for providers unable to comply.

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

A drug industry official on Tuesday (June 15) joined lawmakers in touting legislation that would increase funding for FDA’s and the National Institutes of Health’s nonprofit foundations.

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on Tuesday (June 15) released the schedule for marking up fiscal 2022 spending bills, with the committee planning to take up FDA’s appropriations starting next week and HHS’ appropriations in July.

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan bill to eliminate cost-sharing for vaccines covered under Medicare Part D and another to improve provider reimbursement for administering no-cost vaccines to children were hailed as necessary steps to vaccinating the American public during a House Energy & Commerce Committee health subcommittee hearing on Tuesday (June 15).

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

FDA’s Spring 2021 regulatory agenda indicates the agency could release as soon as this month its long-awaited proposed rule to establish an over-the-counter category of hearing aids and lay out safety, labeling and manufacturing standards for the devices, coming as key lawmakers press HHS to get the regulation out.

June 14, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan infrastructure proposal from Congress is unlikely to include home- and community-based services investments, a GOP aide confirmed to Inside Health Policy Monday (June 14).

June 11, 2021 | Daily News

The date that provider relief recipients received the COVID-19 aid will determine which spending deadline they must meet, HHS announced Friday (June 11), stopping short of a complete extension of the June 30 deadline while still giving providers, hospitals and lawmakers much of the flexibility they had sought.

June 11, 2021 | Daily News

Some Democratic senators told HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra during committee hearings this week they were pleased to see large increases in funding to tackle opioid and substance use disorder in the fiscal 2022 budget request, but they asked for additional support on funding cliffs and opioid production solutions.

June 11, 2021 | Daily News

Democrats are considering adding Medicare drug price negotiation to the president’s American Families Plan and using budget reconciliation to pass it separately from the infrastructure bill, if a bipartisan deal is struck on infrastructure, drug and consumer lobbyists said.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra agreed with Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) that Congress should revisit the Affordable Care Act’s affordability threshold for employer-sponsored coverage, currently set at around 10% of income, so that it aligns with current policy on the exchanges.

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