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On the Hill: Congress Focuses on ACA, Health Care Costs

House and Senate committees this week will hold multiple hearings to examine health care costs and threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On Feb. 6, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold its first hearing on the recent court decision in Texas v. Azar, in which a judge ruled the ACA unconstitutional. The hearing will focus on how the the ruling might affect protections for pre-existing conditions.

The same day, the House Committee on Education and Labor will hold a hearing to exam threats to workers with pre-existing conditions, and the House Committee on Appropriations will hold an oversight hearing on the effects of the administration’s policies on the ACA.

Meanwhile, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a Feb. 5 hearing  examining the effects of primary care on health care costs and outcomes.

State of the Union Address

On Tuesday, President Trump will address Congress and the nation in his State of the Union speech, which was rescheduled from Jan. 29 due to the partial government shutdown.

He is expected to broadly address health care costs and the price of prescription drugs without endorsing specific legislation and to announce his administration’s plan to end the transmission of HIV within the United States.

Stacy Abrams, who recently ran for governor in Georgia, will deliver the Democratic response after the president’s address.

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About the Author

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

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