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On the Hill: Negotiations Stall on Democratic Reconciliation Bill

As negotiations on the cost of Democrats’ “human infrastructure” budget reconciliation package remain at a standstill, reports indicate the party likely will land on legislation costing about $1.8 trillion to $2.3 trillion — far below the $3.5 trillion package originally passed by the House Committee on the Budget.

Absent a top-line spending agreement, lawmakers cannot determine the policy proposals to include in a final bill. So far, Democrats have not agreed on which social priorities to include in a final bill or how far to extend support for social programs. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has indicated that dental, hearing, and vision coverage in Medicare is a must-pass priority. Other lawmakers have expressed support for policies to close the Medicaid coverage gap in non-expansion states or to invest in the home- and community-based services sector. It remains unclear how Democratic leaders will address health care concerns in the reconciliation package, including essential hospital priorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) previously said the House will vote on the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill by Oct. 31, which will act as a goal date for negotiating details of the reconciliation package.

Congressional Schedule

The Senate Committee on Finance will hold an Oct. 20 hearing on the role of federal programs in health care coverage across the country.

The same day, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on public health legislation related to children and families.

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About the Author

Christina Fagnano is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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