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Congress

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

House Democrats’ bill to extend the Medicare sequester moratorium and waive the cost of the American Rescue Plan likely would need to be changed to make it through the upper chamber, those closely following the issue say, as one lobbyist notes Republicans aren’t necessarily in favor of waiving the PAY-GO scorecard for the newly signed COVID-19 relief bill.

March 12, 2021 | Daily News

The American Psychological Association CEO advocated for increased funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention, better enforcement of mental health parity laws and racial equity in treatment at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 and the mental health and substance use crises Thursday (March 11).

March 11, 2021 | Daily News

House Democrats plan to take up legislation next week to extend the Medicare sequester moratorium through the end of the year and to waive the PAY-GO scorecard for the newly signed American Rescue Plan so that it doesn’t create an additional sequester cut, lobbyists say.

March 11, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is scheduling a drug pricing hearing March 23 for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension subcommittee that he chairs, lobbyists say.

March 10, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Democrats led by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen are pushing legislation that would enhance the value of and eligibly for the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) and permanently fund the program, thus eliminating the need for the “silver-loading” workaround that insurers crafted after the Trump administration ended direct payments to reimburse their costs for the subsidies in 2017.

March 09, 2021 | Daily News

House Appropriations subcommittee lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday (March 9) urged FDA to embrace new tools -- such as requiring country of origin labels and assigning a grade to drug companies -- to help consumers know which drugs are safe as the agency continues its hold on foreign onsite inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

Cities and counties would each receive $65.1 billion -- more than a previous draft’s allocation -- under the latest Senate version of the American Rescue Plan passed Saturday (March 6), while states would be subject to the Treasury secretary’s discretion on whether they should get all of their COVID-19 relief funds upfront or wait a year to receive a portion.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

A last-minute Senate amendment to the American Rescue Plan act includes a temporary 10% increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for home- and community-based services.

March 08, 2021 | Daily News

House lawmakers are trying to balance their interest in continuing telehealth expansion beyond the pandemic with concerns such services could be overused or used improperly, coming as Department of Justice officials say stopping telehealth false claims is a priority.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

State and local governments were set to receive $350 billion under the House-passed American Rescue Plan, but the updated version of the pandemic relief bill moving through the Senate would reduce the funding for local governments by $10 billion to pay for increased broadband access and split that relief into two funding pots released a year apart.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

The National Kidney Foundation this week cheered introduction of bipartisan legislation that aims to protect living organ donors by banning life and long-term insurers from denying them coverage.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission members raised concerns in a meeting Thursday (March 4) that if states don’t reimburse COVID-19 vaccinations at or above Medicare rates, there will be large swaths of people not getting vaccinated, putting people in other states at risk.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

The COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed policymakers’ attention to the opioid and substance use disorder crisis, stakeholders say, but provisions included in COVID-19 relief legislation are a good start in recognizing the connection between the two public health emergencies.

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

Rural providers would receive $8.5 billion in relief under the Senate Democrats’ latest update to the House COVID-19 stimulus package -- far short of the $35 billion providers have sought.

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

The Senate COVID-19 relief package heading to the floor will cover 100% of COBRA premiums, up from the 85% level in the House bill, numerous Democratic senators announced Wednesday (March 3).

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Democrats are falling in line with House-passed pandemic relief funding for FDA and HHS, proposing $500 million for FDA review, development and postmarketing surveillance of COVID-19 medical products; $47.8 billion for HHS’ test-and-trace work; and $6 billion for HHS to secure the vaccine, therapeutics and ancillary medical products supply chains, according to their latest draft of relief legislation floated Wednesday (March 3).

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra committed, if confirmed, to look into the disproportionate effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on nursing home residents and to expand data collection to better track demographic trends from the virus on congregate living settings, but in his response to written questions from Senate Finance Committee members he was vague on how he would work to lessen the impact of private equity ownership on nursing homes.

March 02, 2021 | Daily News

Providers are calling for more insight into the provider relief fund after hearing the previous administration took $10 billion out of the $178 billion Congress had set aside for clinicians to use for Operation Warp Speed contracts.

March 02, 2021 | Daily News

There is an increasing possibility that congressional Democrats’ COVID-19 relief package will cover 100% of the cost of COBRA benefits, a policy strongly supported by unions and employers.

March 01, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) revealed late Monday that the Senate parliamentarian has ruled COBRA subsidies can stay in the COVID-19 relief bill without violating the so-called Byrd rule.

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