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Congress

March 30, 2021 | Daily News

A group of Democratic Representatives urged President Joe Biden to stick to his campaign trail proposal to allocate $450 billion to home- and community-based services in a letter sent Tuesday (March 30), a day before Biden is expected to release his “Build Back Better” plan.

March 29, 2021 | Daily News

America’s Physician Groups say the infrastructure package expected to be unveiled later this week would be the perfect vessel to allocate additional provider relief, and specifically targeted at physicians, especially those in primary care, whom they feel have been largely left out of previous distributions in favor of relief for hospitals.

March 26, 2021 | Daily News

Children’s health care advocates say their push to make the Children's Health Insurance Program permanent now goes beyond concerns that Congress will use the program as a bargaining chip: Depending on how the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office score of the cost to renew CHIP could drastically increase when the program is up for renewal in 2027 from the last assessment of nearly budget neutral.

March 25, 2021 | Daily News

As providers and lobbyists anticipated, the Senate on Thursday (March 25) passed an extension of the Medicare sequester moratorium through the end of the year, but the legislation doesn’t include a House provision that would also head off additional sequester cuts created by the American Rescue Plan.

March 25, 2021 | Daily News

Germany’s drug pricing model, which makes drug companies justify prices to an independent panel, got a lot of attention Tuesday (March 23) at a Senate subcommittee hearing that highlighted the higher prices Americans pay for drugs compared to prices in the rest of the world.

March 25, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of representatives introduced a bill Wednesday (March 24) that would allow Medicare Advantage plans to count diagnoses from audio-only telehealth services towards risk adjustment for at least plan years 2020 and 2021 and allow providers to be reimbursed at the same rate for audio-only telehealth and in-person care during the public health emergency.

March 24, 2021 | Daily News

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Monday (March 22) reintroduced legislation to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, and the bill has 32 Democratic senator cosponsors, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has frustrated Democrats on other policies.

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.

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