Congress’s health-care deadlines are looming

Congress’s health-care deadlines are looming

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In the present day’s version: Why a quote attributed to former HHS Secretary Tom Value was retracted. The federal well being division has a $9 billion plan to repay hospitals enrolled within the federal drug low cost program. However first …

On faucet for Congress: Emergency preparedness and neighborhood well being facilities

Congress is again. And there’s solely three weeks earlier than lawmakers head house once more for August recess.

That’s making Okay Road nervous. The clock is ticking on the reauthorization of key well being packages expiring on the finish of September, equivalent to a sweeping emergency preparedness legislation, billions of {dollars} for neighborhood well being facilities and an array of different packages.

This morning, we’re looking on the standing of two main gadgets on lawmakers’ to-do record.

Bolstering the nation’s defenses has taken on much more significance for the reason that coronavirus pandemic.

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act was first signed into legislation in 2006 and has broad implications for the federal well being division’s preparedness and response actions. Its authorities will expire Sept. 30 if Congress doesn’t renew them.

Right here’s the place that effort stands:

Within the Home: Republicans and Democrats within the Power and Commerce Committee are feuding over whether or not insurance policies geared toward addressing the nation’s drug shortages belong in PAHPA.

A number of outstanding Democrats — equivalent to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the panel’s rating member — are pushing for the GOP to agree to incorporate a number of drug scarcity measures within the emergency preparedness invoice, arguing it’s the pure place for such a coverage.

  • “It’s solely irritating,” Rep. Kathy Castor (Fla.), the rating Democrat on the panel’s oversight subcommittee, mentioned of Republicans’ place.

On the opposite facet, prime GOP lawmakers, equivalent to panel Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), argue policies associated to drug shortages are exterior the scope of reauthorizing PAHPA.

  • “Staying targeted on the insurance policies which can be underneath the present framework is the easiest way ahead to see a invoice signed into legislation earlier than September thirtieth,” a GOP committee aide mentioned in a press release.

👀 One factor we’re watching: A number of individuals aware of the matter mentioned there may very well be a well being subcommittee markup this week on PAHPA and different measures. We’re watching to see if the Republican majority notices such a markup within the subsequent day or two. Politico first reported the information.

In the meantime … within the Senate: Comments are due at this time on a bipartisan discussion draft launched final week. However the laws from Senate HELP Committee leaders has its personal partisan hang-ups.

Staffers for Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are searching for suggestions on a coverage to require all merchandise which have acquired help from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention or the Biomedical Superior Analysis and Growth Authority to be offered on the lowest value amongst Group of Seven nations. It’s laborious to think about sufficient Senate Republicans going together with such a proposal.

In the meantime, staffers for Sen. Invoice Cassidy (La.), the panel’s rating Republican, are asking for touch upon a proposal to increase and increase the precedence evaluate voucher program for medical countermeasures. This system speeds up FDA evaluate of such merchandise and is slated to additionally expire by October.

The Home is way additional alongside right here than the Senate.

At problem is a pot of cash comprising roughly 70 p.c of federal {dollars} for neighborhood well being facilities, which give care to among the nation’s most susceptible. The noncontroversial provision was initially included within the Inexpensive Care Act, and the most recent funding extension expires Sept. 30.

Within the Home: The Power and Commerce Committee superior a wide-ranging bipartisan bill in late Could that included a 5 p.c bump in funding for well being facilities for the subsequent two years. That quantities to $4.2 billion per 12 months.

However the Senate hasn’t put out a bipartisan plan. Sanders this spring pitched an infusion of money far above what Home Power and Commerce lawmakers superior: $130 billion over 5 years. Cassidy was vital that the thought might have traction, saying final month that the chance of “efficiently vetting and operationalizing” methods of paying for such a big improve by the start of August recess is “slim.”

A number of advocates locally well being area advised The Well being 202 that the unsure funding atmosphere might quickly have repercussions.

“It’s going to solely get tougher for well being facilities to plan for a way finest to fulfill their sufferers’ wants because the deadline approaches,” per Joe Dunn, a senior vp on the Nationwide Affiliation of Neighborhood Well being Facilities.

A spokesperson for the Well being Assets and Companies Administration mentioned the company doesn’t anticipate having the identical flexibility it previously had to make up for any lapsed funding if Congress doesn’t renew this system earlier than the deadline. That is partly as a consequence of elevated prices, the uncertainty round fiscal 2024 discretionary appropriations and extra.

  • “Even when HRSA is ready to present some restricted month to month assets for a brief time frame, well being heart grantees have shared important considerations in regards to the impacts of the uncertainty, particularly with respect to employees retention,” per the spokesperson.

From our reporters’ pocket book

Our colleague And Diamond sends us this dispatch:

The ‘huge medical butt’ that wasn’t.

The well being coverage world on Friday was briefly riveted by a Fox Information “unique”: former Well being and Human Companies secretary Tom Value allegedly advised the information outlet that there was “no means” he would help former president Donald Trump’s 2024 marketing campaign, including that his one-time boss might “kiss” a sure a part of Value’s anatomy.

However wait: Value by no means heard from Fox Information, not to mention wrote or mentioned that to them, a supply near Value advised Dan.

Fox Information retracted the story on Friday evening, however not shortly sufficient to cease aggregators from repackaging the so-called scoop. As of Saturday, information retailers like the Hill had been nonetheless sharing the retracted quotes on Twitter (though the outlet has since replaced that story with one denoting that Fox Information retracted its story.)

How HHS is proposing to repay 340B hospitals

The federal well being division has released its plan for tips on how to compensate hospitals enrolled in a federal drug low cost program after the Supreme Court docket dominated unanimously against a coverage that led to years of underpayments.

The small print: The Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies is proposing to make a one-time lump-sum fee totaling $9 billion to the roughly 1,600 hospitals collaborating within the 340B program. This system is geared toward letting well being amenities serving low-income sufferers buy discounted medicine.

The company mentioned it plans to take care of price range neutrality underneath the proposal. That mainly signifies that CMS needs to pay for the treatment by proposing a 0.5 p.c discount for non-drug gadgets and companies beginning in 2025. This is able to final for roughly 16 years.

The view from hospitals: America’s Important Hospitalswhich represents hospitals serving low-income and uninsured sufferers, mentioned it was happy with the lump-sum funds however expressed concern over the price range neutrality proposal, arguing it “unnecessarily blunts the impression of the treatment.”

On faucet this week: Iowa Republicans are searching for a ban on most abortions after fetal cardiac exercise is detected at roughly six weeks, in accordance with the textual content of a proposed bill launched Friday afternoon. The laws contains exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities and medical emergencies.

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) known as the GOP-controlled legislature again for a particular session for the “sole purpose” of enacting new restrictions on abortion. The session begins tomorrow morning.

The timing: The transfer comes after the state Supreme Court docket deadlocked final month on whether or not to grant a request from Reynolds to reinstate a 2018 law that may have banned the process generally after roughly six weeks.

  • In Wisconsin: A lawsuit to invalidate a nineteenth century-era abortion legislation might proceed, a Dane County decide mentioned in an order that indicated she didn’t imagine the legislation in query bans consensual abortions till fetal viability, usually considered as round 22 to 24 weeks, Molly Beck studies for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • In Tennessee: An appeals court ruled Saturday {that a} ban on gender-affirming take care of minors can go into impact for now — the primary occasion of a federal courtroom permitting a ban of this sort to proceed after related legal guidelines had been blocked in different states, The Submit’s Tamia Fowlkes writes.

📅 Did we point out Congress is again? The Senate is in at this time; the Home convenes tomorrow. Right here’s what’s happening this week:

On Tuesday: The Home choose subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic will hold a hearing on whether or not federal officers downplayed the lab leak speculation; the Home Guidelines Committee will meet on the Nationwide Protection Authorization Actand a few lawmakers have proposed abortion-related amendments.

  • On the opposite facet of the Capitol, the Senate Appropriations Committee will discuss the Particular Diabetes Program; a Senate HELP subcommittee will convene a hearing on the impression of antimicrobial resistance.

On Wednesday: A Home Homeland Safety subcommittee will hold a hearing on the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the nation.

On Thursday: The Home Small Enterprise Committee will discuss a federal inspector basic’s report on fraud in pandemic assist packages.

  • Home Republicans are claiming that the Biden administration allegedly didn’t accurately reappoint over a dozen top-ranking leaders of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, arguing it raises questions in regards to the legality of federal grants doled out over the 12 months. The Biden administration is rebutting the accusation it ran afoul of the legislation, CBS Information’s Catherine Herridge and Alexander Tin report.
  • Gross sales of the Alzheimer’s drug Leqembi could be slow at first as a consequence of logistical necessities, however decide up subsequent 12 months, in accordance with analysts. The Meals and Drug Administration granted conventional approval to the Alzheimer’s drug Leqembi final week, CNBC’s Annika Kim Constantino writes.
  • ICYMI: The Biden administration released its proposal Friday to constrain short-term well being plans touted by Trump and derided for years by Democrats as junk, per The Submit’s Amy Goldstein.

Biden’s NIH nominee is languishing in Congress — alarming public health advocates (By Sarah Owermohle l Stat)

Meet the People Deciding How to Spend $50 Billion in Opioid Settlement Cash (By Aneri Pattani l KFF Health News)

Substance Abuse Is Climbing Among Seniors (By Paula Span l The New York Times)

Thanks for studying! See y’all tomorrow.



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