With key legislative goals not yet reached, including passage of a major reconciliation bill, Congress might be forced to delay its annual, month-long August recess or break and return to Washington for a series of votes early in the month.
Of significance to essential hospitals, action on the Build Back Better (BBB) Act remains on hold. Democrats continue working on a scaled-back version of the bill to pass via budget reconciliation, which would require only a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The bill includes provisions to lower prescription drug prices through Medicare negotiations and to expand health care coverage by extending the advance premium tax credit by two years. In communications with Democrat leaders and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose support for the bill is crucial, America’s Essential Hospitals continues to press for including more support for essential hospitals. Democrats face a Sept. 30 deadline to pass a package through reconciliation.
Hearings of Note
The House Committee on Rules was scheduled to meet July 26 to discuss the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2021 (H.R. 4040). Also July 26, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions was scheduled to hold a hearing on the fentanyl epidemic, focusing on the federal response to a growing crisis.
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