This week the House and Senate are working to pass legislation to keep the federal government running beyond 11:59 pm. Wednesday. Funding negotiations have been stalled for weeks as lawmakers continue to target funding for Planned Parenthood amid the release of several controversial videos revealing alleged sales of fetal tissue in Planned Parenthood clinics. But a path forward appears to be available. In the Senate, the chamber plans to vote on a clean continuing resolution bill that would maintain funding for Planned Parenthood and fund the government only through Dec. 11. The House is expected to pass the legislation and send it to the president’s desk – likely in the last several hours of the current fiscal year.
- collectively defund Planned Parenthood for one year and reroute the funding to community health centers,
- withdraw unused funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
- and repeal several key provisions of the ACA, such as individual and employer mandates, medical device tax and the Independent Medical Payment Advisory Board, set in place to control Medicare spending.
America’s Essential Hospitals is closely monitoring progress of the reconciliation bill and intends to comment on it publicly before it reaches the House floor.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a full committee hearing Thursday on Health Information Technology. Also on Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing to consider several bills intended to improve Medicare.