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On the Hill: Legislative Sprint, Dual-Eligibles RFI

As congressional lawmakers work on a permanent solution to fund the federal government in fiscal year (FY) 2023, essential hospitals are pushing for a robust, end-of-year package not only to fund the government but to achieve key policy objectives before the end of the 117th Congress.

The government currently is operating under a continuing resolution through Dec. 16, with no agreement yet on top-line numbers for FY 2023. Any funding package will need bipartisan agreement and at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate.

Also awaiting action is the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), another must-pass bill whose status is opaque. The annual NDAA establishes new Department of Defense policies and programs and reauthorizes programs set to expire. Without timely passage, significant issues could arise with defense funding, including military personnel benefits and pay.

Senators Release RFI on Dual-Eligibles

On Nov. 22, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) released a request for information (RFI) on ways to improve coverage for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

In the RFI, lawmakers highlight that reforms for dually eligible patients should be informed by core principles, including those regarding the diversity of their needs, the range of states’ capabilities to support their care, and financial incentives to drive health system behaviors on outcomes and efficiency.

The senators have invited stakeholders to respond to 11 questions on data collection and policy recommendations to improve care and care coordination for dually eligible individuals. Responses should be submitted to by Jan. 13, 2023.

This Week in Congress

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) by a 61-36 margin, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for  it. The legislation, which is expected to pass the House and win President Joe Biden’s signature, would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and codify federal protections for same-sex and interracial couples.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Children and Families Subcommittee  of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing titled, “Caring for Our Kids: Supporting Mental Health in the Transition from High School to College.”

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About the Author

Margaret French is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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