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Congress

September 23, 2020 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee members agreed that telehealth should be supported and maintained following the COVID-19 crisis, but on little else at a three-hour hearing that looked at the Affordable Care Act and the pandemic.

September 23, 2020 | Daily News

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir tried to assure senators Wednesday (Sept. 23) that HHS’ decision to require all health agency rules to be formally signed by HHS Secretary Alex Azar will not interrupt agencies’ rulemaking processes.

September 23, 2020 | Daily News

Congress is expected to soon send to the president a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11 that also includes funding extensions for several Medicare and Medicaid programs, a delay in cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospitals, and an extension for repayment and lowered interest for certain COVID-19 provider relief payments, among other health care riders.

September 23, 2020 | Daily News

About 1.53 million people have insurance purchased through Covered California, the highest number since the exchange went live in 2014, which indicates the Affordable Care Act is providing the safety net that Congress intended, exchange executive director Peter Lee announced Tuesday (Sept. 22), a day before he urged Congress to adopt nationwide solutions to lower marketplace premiums, provide options to consumers with inadequate employer coverage and address the health disparities exposed by the pandemic.

September 22, 2020 | Daily News

Two Democratic senators released a report Tuesday (Sept. 22) lambasting the Trump administration for lacking a comprehensive plan to protect nursing home residents, saying data collected both from CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 11 nursing homes residents died every hour from COVID-19 in July and August.

September 22, 2020 | Daily News

The House passed several health bills on Monday (Sept. 21), including one to codify non-emergency transportation as a mandatory Medicaid benefit and another to strengthen maternal health care in rural areas.

September 21, 2020 | Daily News

House Democrats on Monday (Sept. 21) introduced a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11 that includes Medicare and Medicaid funding extensions supported by the White House.

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Alex Azar missed House Energy & Commerce Democratic leaders’ Friday (Sept. 18) deadline to brief them on his role in a slew of reported efforts by HHS political appointees to change scientific documents and communications coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on how he would prevent future political interference.

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

The White House has blocked FDA chief Stephen Hahn from testifying before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, E&C Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and health subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-CA) said Friday (Sept. 18).

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

The House has pushed back its highly anticipated floor vote on a bill that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act -- a bill experts have asserted would take authority away from the Drug Enforcement Administration and potentially put it into the hands of FDA.

September 16, 2020 | Daily News

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday (Sept. 16) the administration will release its health care plan via executive order but with a legislative component sometime before the election, responding to queries about President Donald Trump’s repeated claims a proposal is on the way.

September 16, 2020 | Daily News

HHS’ top communications official, Michael Caputo, is taking a 60-day leave of absence following his reported efforts to alter scientific data coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and his senior policy advisor, Paul Alexander, who accused CDC of intentionally undermining the president, will leave the department, HHS announced Wednesday (Sept. 16).

September 15, 2020 | Daily News

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (NY) on Tuesday called for HHS Secretary Alex Azar to resign as controversy swelled up over news that a politically appointed HHS press secretary has sought to alter COVID-19 scientific data coming out of HHS to match the president’s messaging.

September 14, 2020 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and oversight subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) on Monday (Sept. 14) demanded HHS Secretary Alex Azar participate in an immediate briefing to respond to reports that appointees from the White House are working to review and change scientific COVID-19 public health reports and quiet public health officials.

September 11, 2020 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee is demanding information from HHS after reports came out in late August that the Trump administration has put out bids for a $250 million-plus communications contract to create a COVID-19 campaign in the months leading up to the election.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed 26 health bills on Wednesday (Sept. 9), including three meant to boost Medicare patient protections and mental health services, sending them to the House floor.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

Eight high-level FDA officials, including drug center director Janet Woodcock who is currently playing an integral role in Operation Warp Speed, penned an op-ed on Thursday (Sept. 10) in a bid to reaffirm that FDA is an independent agency and reassure the public that agency reviewers will be guided by science in their COVID-19 therapy and vaccine decisions.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

A slimmed-down version of the Senate Republicans’ coronavirus relief bill died as expected in the Senate on Thursday (Sept. 10) after a vote to end debate on the legislation failed, 52-47, with every Democrat voting against the bill.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

The White House budget office wouldn’t object if Congress includes in an upcoming continuing resolution a provision to extend funding for FDA’s rare pediatric disease priority review voucher program, according to a document obtained by sister news site Inside Defense.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wednesday (Sept. 9) sent to the House floor a bipartisan bill that would require FDA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to issue guidelines on the production of marijuana, as part of the legislation’s larger goal to make marijuana accessible to researchers for medical purposes.

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