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On the Hill: Funding the Government Past Feb. 8

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are working to negotiate a federal funding bill before a continuing resolution passed last week expires on Feb. 8.

Congress has passed two successive continuing resolutions (CRs) to fund the federal government this year. The most recent CR funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, but does not include funding for other health care extenders, including a delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment cuts and support for federally qualified health centers.

The association continues to work with congressional leadership and staff to pursue a delay of DSH cuts. America’s Essential Hospitals and more than 70 other organizations on Monday sent a joint letter to House and Senate leadership calling on Congress to reauthorize and fund programs and policies vital to health care, including the Medicaid DSH program.

Meanwhile, the Senate last week voted 55-43 to confirm Alex Azar as the new Health and Human Services Secretary. He was sworn in on Monday.

Committee Activity

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee for Health will hold a Jan. 30 hearing to examine the implementation of the Compounding Quality Act.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a Feb. 8 hearing on the impact of the opioid crisis on children and families.

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About the Author

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