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News & Press: Member Spotlight

This Week on the Hill, July 23 - July 27, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TCAA Staff
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Today, the House is scheduled to vote on reauthorizing nursing workforce development programs (H.R. 959), plus programs for other health professions (H.R. 3728). Votes will also address the renewal of children's hospital graduate medical education programs (H.R. 5385), plus grants and expanded research on palliative and hospice care (H.R. 1676).
Later in the week, the chamber is scheduled to vote on repealing a medical device excise tax (H.R. 184), a prominent element of the Affordable Care Act. The tax initially went into effect in 2013 and was suspended for 2016 and through the end of 2019, most recently in a stopgap spending bill (P.L. 115-120) adopted earlier this year. The CBO estimated last year, during a GOP-led attempt to repeal and replace the health law, the long-term cost of repealing the device tax at $19.6 billion.
Other votes this week include a consolidated measure combining six bills that look to expand access to certain health insurance plans and health savings accounts, including the use of subsidies to purchase basic catastrophic health plans (H.R. 6311, H.R. 6309, H.R. 6306, H.R. 6313, and H.R. 6314). The group also includes a bill (H.R. 5963) to continue the delay the ACA’s annual fee on health insurers until 2022. The chamber will also consider a bill (H.R. 1201) that provides an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate for individuals who rely solely on a religious method of healing.
Also up for a vote this week is a measure (H.R. 6199) that compiles bills seeking to expand health savings accounts to further encourage their use together with high deductible plans and qualifies expenses for over-the-counter medical products and sports and fitness services (H.R. 6301, H.R. 6305, H.R. 6312, and H.R. 6317).
Several veterans' health measures are also on the House agenda this week. Lawmakers will vote on bills seeking to test programs for undergraduate students to observe VA operations (H.R. 2787) and recruit military servicemembers into VA positions (H.R. 5938), plus establishing human resource performance metrics (H.R. 5864) and analyzing the cost of VA medical waste facilities (H.R. 5974).



The Senate convenes today at 3:00 p.m. to consider the nomination of Robert Wilkie to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. If confirmed, Wilkie will shepherd the overhauling (and increased funding) of a program offering health care services outside of the VA system and the revamp of a $15.8 billion electronic health record system. A confirmation vote is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Senate will also begin consideration this week on a new spending bill package, possibly combining the Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Transportation-HUD and Agriculture-FDA measures. Proposed discretionary Food and Drug Administration funding in the Senate bill (S. 2976) is pegged at $159 million above FY 2018 enacted level. The agency's total budget of appropriations and fees is $292 million more than provided in FY 2018.


Monday, July 23


House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R. 6199, the "Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018"; H.R. 6311, the "Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018"; and H.R. 184, the "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017." 5:00 p.m., H-313, U.S. Capitol.


Tuesday, July 24


Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee of House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on H.R.4219, the "Workflex in the 21st Century Act.” 10:00 a.m., 2175 Rayburn Bldg.

Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on "Examining Advertising and Marketing Practices within the Substance Use Treatment Industry." 10:00 a.m. 2123 Rayburn Bldg.
Human Resources Subcommittee of House Ways and Means Committee hearing on "The Opioid Crisis: Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)." 10:00 a.m., 1100 Longworth Bldg.

Wednesday, July 25


Health Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on "21st Century Cures Implementation: Updates from FDA and NIH." 9:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup of S. 2554, the "Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act"; H.R. 1222, the "Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act of 2017"; S. 2465, the "Sickle Cell Disease Research, Surveillance, Prevention, and Treatment Act of 2018"; and S. 3016, the "Action for Dental Health Act of 2018." 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.

Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee of House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "Using Innovative Technology and Practices to Enhance the Culture of Preparedness." 2:00 p.m., HVC-210, U.S. Capitol.


Thursday, July 26


Health Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on "MACRA and MIPS: An Update on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System." 10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.




Monday, July 23


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) holds a workshop on "Harnessing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Advance Biomedical Research." 8:45 a.m., NIH Main Campus, Porter Neuroscience Building, 35 Convent Drive, Rooms 610/640, Bethesda, Md.


Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) deliver remarks at a roundtable discussion about “the anticipated future challenges in the effort to guarantee access to quality, affordable health care to all Americans.” 1:30 p.m., 3001 South Hanover St., Baum Auditorium, Baltimore, MD.

Wednesday, July 25


The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) holds a discussion on "The Future of Health Care: Where Does the Bipartisan Path Lead?" 10:00 a.m., National Press Club, 14th and F St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.

The Hudson Institute holds a discussion on "Combating the Opioid Epidemic: Finding Alternatives in Pain Management" with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) 12:00 p.m., 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.


Thursday, July 26


The Heritage Foundation holds a discussion on "The Importance of Free-Market Principles in American Healthcare" with HHS Sec. Alex Azar. 11:00 a.m., 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Allison Auditorium, Washington, D.C.




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