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Congress

March 24, 2021 | Daily News

Democratic Representatives urged hold-out states to expand their Medicaid programs, discussed new ways to nudge states to do so and touted the American Rescue Plan’s incentives at a House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee hearing Tuesday (March 23) on strengthening the Affordable Care Act.

March 23, 2021 | Daily News

Nestled in the House Energy & Commerce Committee plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid coverage are several bipartisan proposals meant to improve children’s health care, like permanently extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program funding and requiring state Medicaid programs reimburse primary physicians at the same rate as Medicare.

March 23, 2021 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association is hoping the Senate will pass an extension of the Medicare sequester moratorium in the next few days and CMS will take that as a signal to hold off on any provider pay cuts until after the House passes the Senate version of the legislation.

March 19, 2021 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee health panel will discuss legislation aimed at incentivizing additional states to expand their Medicaid programs at a hearing next Tuesday (March 23) to mark the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

March 19, 2021 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Monday (March 22) on a wide- ranging infrastructure bill that includes funding to upgrade hospitals, renovate clinical labs, boost state and local public health facilities, build community health centers, update teaching and behavioral health centers, and expand broadband needed for telehealth.

March 19, 2021 | Daily News

A top FDA official told Congress on Thursday (March 18) that FDA could feasibly authorize updates or changes to COVID-19 vaccines without requiring clinical studies in humans in the hopes of speeding the premarket regulation process to mitigate the spread of new strains of the virus.

March 19, 2021 | Daily News

Once COVID-19 vaccine booster shots become available, people with compromised immune systems and other preexisting health conditions likely will need to be first in line to get the shots since their antibody levels will wane faster than those of otherwise healthy people, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told lawmakers during a Senate health committee hearing Thursday (March 18).

March 18, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), other Democratic senators and witnesses questioned the role of private equity ownership and mishandled federal funds in the pandemic’s toll on nursing homes at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday (March 17), and Warren plans a deeper probe into the issue.

March 18, 2021 | Daily News

House Democrats hope in addition to averting a Medicaid fiscal crises in the territories in October, they’ll be able to come up with longstanding federal funding solutions -- such as eliminating the Medicaid cap for territories and changing territories’ federal Medicaid matching funds calculation to what’s used for states.

March 18, 2021 | Daily News

The Senate confirmed Xavier Becerra as HHS secretary in a 50-49 mostly party-line vote Thursday (March 18), with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) being the only Republican senator to support Becerra’s nomination and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) not voting.

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

The House has delayed votes on three bipartisan drug-pricing and food safety bills that were originally slated to be taken up this week, a Democratic leadership aide told Inside Health Policy.

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

The Senate Wednesday voted 50-49 to invoke cloture and advance the nomination of California Attorney General and former Congressman Xavier Becerra as HHS secretary.

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

House Medicare for All sponsors Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) joined dozens of co-sponsors and advocacy groups Wednesday (March 17) to reintroduce legislation that would extend Medicare to all Americans, saying the pandemic has laid bare the problems with the existing system and made the transition more urgent.

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

Seventy-two percent of voters think it’s very important for President Joe Biden and Congress to take action to lower prescription drug costs this year and 92% said lowering drug costs was very or fairly important to them, according to a survey conducted by Families USA and released Wednesday (March 17).

March 17, 2021 | Daily News

Maternal health advocates are cheering the COVID-19 relief package’s provision that lets states extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for up to one year without asking CMS, but they still want Congress to make the extension mandatory and to send states additional federal funds to implement it.

March 16, 2021 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) joined key Democratic senators to discuss next steps to control health care costs and expand coverage during a call with Protect Our Care Tuesday -- laying the groundwork for health and drug-pricing reforms that could be included in another reconciliation package.

March 16, 2021 | Daily News

More than two dozen Democratic senators are sponsoring legislation that would reverse the Trump administration’s revised guidance on Section 1332 waivers -- codified as part of the 2022 exchange rule -- that they say promotes “junk” health care plans and undermines coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

March 15, 2021 | Daily News

Nursing home providers and advocates want lawmakers to pass a series of workforce, oversight, clinical and structural reforms for the sector and increase funding to support those measures.

March 15, 2021 | Daily News

The House this week will consider three bipartisan drug-pricing and food safety bills, two of which aim to increase competition and lower drug prices by more narrowly defining the types of new drugs that can receive five years of exclusivity and by increasing education in biologics and biosimilars.

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

Scott Gottlieb and Margaret Hamburg joined other past FDA chiefs in calling for FDA to be an independent agency that reports directly to the White House, saying the current structure where FDA reports to HHS slows down regulations and policymaking and offers a vehicle for stakeholders to lobby HHS to change FDA decisions.

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