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Congress

April 21, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) placed a hold on a floor vote to confirm Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS administrator, citing the agency’s decision last Friday (April 16) to revoke a 10-year extension of a Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver that let the state use federal funding to boost its uncompensated care pool.

April 21, 2021 | Daily News

Liberal Democrats are trying to get the president to include major drug-pricing reforms in his upcoming American Families Plan by unveiling bicameral drug pricing legislation Thursday (April 22), while House Republicans Wednesday (April 21) reintroduced their own version that includes dozens of bipartisan measures that are minor compared to what Democrats are expected to attempt.

April 21, 2021 | Daily News

The House passed a bill Wednesday (April 21) to authorize a five-month extension on emergency scheduling of fentanyl-like substances, which classifies the analogues as Schedule 1 drugs.

April 21, 2021 | Daily News

HHS last year allocated about $145 billion of the provider relief fund that now totals $178 billion, but the department told the Government Accountability Office that roughly $35 billion of those allocations hadn’t actually made it to providers as of Dec. 31.

April 20, 2021 | Daily News

House oversight committee Democrats are investigating whether HHS awarded Emergent Biosciences a $628 million contract to make Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, which it botched, because of personal connections with a then-Trump HHS official when the company lacked the expertise to make the vaccine.

April 19, 2021 | Daily News

Lawmakers from both parties are interested in reducing barriers to medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders, though some Republican lawmakers said at a House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee hearing last week that expanding access to treatment without comprehensive care plans would not be productive.

April 19, 2021 | Daily News

Better Medicare Alliance, LeadingAge and more than 30 other organizations wrote a letter in support of two bills that would allow audio-only telehealth to be used in risk assessment by Medicare Advantage organizations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

April 16, 2021 | Daily News

CMS on Friday (April 16) approved Georgia’s Medicaid waiver to extend its postpartum coverage from 60 days to six months and granted Missouri’s request to extend postpartum coverage to one year after beneficiaries diagnosed with a substance use disorder give birth.

April 16, 2021 | Daily News

A group of GOP lawmakers wants FDA to use real-world evidence from Israel and the United Kingdom to justify extending the amount of time patients can wait between getting their first and second shots of the currently authorized two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

April 16, 2021 | Daily News

Health policy experts say that with holdout states still unlikely to budge on Medicaid expansion, the Biden administration could create a targeted federal program similar to a public option or give access to a free plan on the marketplace to the millions of Americans in the so-called “Medicaid gap,” but the policy must be carefully crafted to not incentivize expansion states to drop coverage.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

Senators focused Thursday (April 15) in a confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s CMS administrator and deputy HHS secretary nominees on the administration’s recent revocation of Medicaid work requirement waivers and its proposals to lower the Medicare age threshold and increase funding for home and community-based services.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

Some lawmakers on the House Appropriations HHS subcommittee praised funding for maternal health in HHS’s skinny discretionary budget during a hearing Thursday (April 15), but Republicans and Democrats were divided on whether HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra should keep the Hyde Amendment in his final budget request.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra assured House appropriators he would seek input from stakeholders before implementing a surprise billing fix, after Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) raised concerns the department could issue an interim final rule to implement the No Surprises Act and skip gathering feedback.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

Several House Republicans said at a hearing Wednesday (April 14) that Congress should pass legislation to either extend or make permanent the Schedule 1 classification for fentanyl-related substances, while some Democrats touted an opposing bill that would use harm-reduction strategies to tackle the fentanyl crisis.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

HHS chief Xavier Becerra told lawmakers Thursday (April 15) that the National Institutes of Health will make an announcement regarding the Trump administration’s ban on fetal tissue research.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

Group health plans and individual insurers would be required to cover without cost-sharing diagnostic breast cancer tests that may be needed following an initial screening under a bipartisan bill reintroduced this week by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

Destined for the president’s signature are two bipartisan bills that aim to boost generic and biosimilar competition by restricting eligibility for drug exclusivity and by increasing confidence in biosimilars.

April 15, 2021 | Daily News

The House on Wednesday (April 14) passed a bipartisan bill that will require food makers declare sesame as an allergen on their food labels. The bill, which cleared the Senate in March, now heads to the president’s desk.

April 14, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration announced Wednesday (April 14) to health care advocates’ cheers it plans to roll back the Trump-era so-called gag rule, finding the 2019 final rule has cut the number of Title X grantees by a quarter and could have led to up to 181,477 unintended pregnancies.

April 14, 2021 | Daily News

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), ranking member and former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, won’t run for re-election in 2022, he said on Tuesday, announcing his 13th term will be his last.

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