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On the Hill: House to Vote on CR that Extends DSH Funding

The House this week is scheduled to vote on a short-term spending bill to extend by four weeks funding for the federal government, including for Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.

The federal government currently operates under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires Nov. 21. That CR extended fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding levels for key health care programs, including the DSH payments, which had been scheduled for a $4 billion cut Oct. 1.

The new CR, released Monday, will continue FY 2019 funding levels through Dec. 20. The extra time will give lawmakers an opportunity to reach a long-term agreement on government funding levels and relief from the impending Medicaid DSH cuts. The new CR also will allow negotiations to continue on how to pay for increased federal spending and on the president’s demand for more funds to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico.

House Vote on Workplace Violence Legislation

Also this week, the House will vote on the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309). The bill would establish a federal standard requiring certain employers to implement facility-specific plans to prevent workplace violence that follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers.

The new standard would apply to hospital inpatient and outpatient settings, residential and nonresidential treatment facilities, and behavioral health and substance use treatment centers.

House Impeachment Hearings Continue

The House Committee on Intelligence last week held the first round of public hearings related to the impeachment inquiry of the president. Public hearings continue this week as House Democratic leaders work to conclude the investigation and consider whether to draft formal articles of impeachment.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will mark up 18 bills on Nov. 19, including two pieces of bipartisan legislation related to maternal health: the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 4995), which would create new programs to address maternal health inequities and disparities; and the Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act of 2019 (Helping MOMS Act) (H.R. 4996), which would create a new state plan option to extend Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility for one year postpartum. Both bills are expected to clear the committee.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a Nov. 20 confirmation hearing for Stephen Hahn to serve as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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