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On the Hill: HHS Spending Measure, Health-Related Bills

In addition to House action to bring socioeconomic risk adjustment to Medicare’s readmissions reduction program (see this Action Alert), lawmakers this week will consider a spending measure and other health-related bills.

On June 7, the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up and approved its fiscal year 2017 spending bill. The bipartisan measure will go to the full committee June 9.

The legislation includes $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which is an increase of $2 billion from 2016. Also included is an additional $261 million to address the opioid epidemic, an increase of $126 million from 2016. Among other provisions, the bill eliminates funding for the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was enacted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to control spending in the Medicare program.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will mark up long-awaited mental health legislation on June 15. The bill under consideration is a manager’s amendment to legislation introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). It addresses outstanding concerns with the original proposal. On June 10, the committee will hold a legislative hearing on several other health-related bills, including measures that would amend the ACA.

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About the Author

Jocelyn Wiles is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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