Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and 24 bipartisan cosponsors introduced a bill last week to fund cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) announced he is writing his own bill to fund CSR payments that he hopes will appeal to conservatives skeptical of the Senate’s bipartisan effort. Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated he would bring the Alexander and Murray bill to the floor for a vote if President Trump pledges to sign it.

Congress has yet to pass a bipartisan bill to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expired a few weeks ago. States that have been using remaining CHIP funding until Congress reaches a deal have struggled with a 2015 CHIP funding bill provision that requires them to return 33 percent of that residual funding to the government, which strains their ability to pay for the program in the interim.

America’s Essential Hospitals is working to ensure that any CHIP funding bill also include a two-year delay in the onset of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently passed legislation that funded CHIP for five years and delayed Medicaid DSH cuts for one year. This legislation might go to a floor vote in the House this week.

Committee Activity

The Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled an Oct. 25 hearing on federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis.