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policy

House and Senate lawmakers work to finalize a roughly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine but remain stalled on consideration of a COVID-19 aid package; a House panel considers two bills to reauthorize various federal health programs.

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policy

The bipartisan legislation would reauthorize programs under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Health Resources and Services Administration and is timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Despite receiving bipartisan support in the Senate, a $10 billion COVID-19 relief bill remains stalled. The outlook for congressional action is uncertain, given a lack of clarity on legislative packages that might emerge in the coming weeks and months.

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House and Senate lawmakers returned this week to Washington, D.C., and a full agenda, which could include renewed consideration of a $10 billion COVID-19 funding bill and work on a budget reconciliation measure.

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Congress began a two-week recess without passing a bipartisan, $10 billion COVID-19 relief bill. Negotiations on the bill were derailed by immigration policy changes recently announced by the White House.

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Party leaders in the Senate announced a compromise package that would fund $10 billion in COVID-19 relief for therapeutics, vaccines, and pandemic prevention. Meanwhile, a House panel continues work on legislation to aid small businesses.

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Congressional panels will review President Joe Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget request. Sens. Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate low vaccination rates among Medicaid beneficiaries.

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Hopes are slim for additional COVID-19 relief this week, with the House out of session and the Senate focused on a Supreme Court confirmation. Meanwhile, bipartisan legislation would extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver program for two years past the end of the public health emergency. 

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President Joe Biden signed a $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 spending package; he already signed a four-day continuing resolution to provide time for the omnibus spending measure to move forward. 

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The House-passed bill does not allocate additional COVID-19 relief for providers on the front lines of the pandemic. An initial version of the legislation included $15.6 billion in COVID-19 related spending — a scaled-back version of the $22.5 billion requested by the Biden administration.

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policy

Congress continues work on a roughly $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government past March 11, but outstanding issues might force lawmakers to pass another short-term funding extension to buy additional time to reach a deal.

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webinar

Tune in for a FAN-exclusive deep dive on the 2022 midterm elections with POLITICO’s national political reporter, Elena Schneider.

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President Joe Biden signed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through March 11; Biden invited all members of Congress to attend the annual State of the Union address on March 1.

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The Senate voted 50–46 to confirm Robert Califf, MD, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); The FDA has not had a confirmed commissioner for more than a year. Senators continue work to pass a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government past Feb. 18.

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A short-term continuing resolution would maintain government funding through March 11, giving lawmakers more time to agree on a final funding bill; the measure is expected to clear both chambers. Activity on the Build Back Better Act pauses as Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) recovers from a stroke.

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A bipartisan group of senators released draft legislation to improve the nation's capacity to respond to future public health crises. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announces his intent to retire. The Senate Committee on Budget considers the nomination of Shalanda Young as director of OMB.

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Essential hospitals continue to confront extreme labor costs and staff shortages and need targeted relief from remaining fund dollars and new sources of support.

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In separate bipartisan letters, lawmakers called on the Biden administration to help mitigate dire hospital workforce shortages, particularly among nurses, and protect the 340B Drug Pricing Program from harmful drug manufacturer actions.

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The nomination of Robert Califf, MD, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration advances to the Senate floor. The Republican-led Healthy Futures Task Force issues several requests for information on telehealth policies and health care affordability.

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House lawmakers noted upcoming federal funding legislation could be an opportunity for additional COVID-19 relief. A Senate committee examines COVID-19 variants and the federal response. Both chambers released draft schedules for their 2022 work.

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America’s Essential Hospitals has selected Jason Pray, a health care policy professional with more than 24 years of experience in Washington, D.C., as its next vice president of legislative affairs.

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policy

Congress is focused on passing the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill before government funding expires Feb. 18. As 2021 came to a close, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would not support the Build Back Better Act as currently drafted, stalling the legislation.

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webinar

2022 Advocacy Outlook

Dec. 16, 2021 || Staff

Recap highlights from 2021 and preview the agenda for regulatory and legislative priorities in 2022.

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policy

The legislation delays looming Medicare payment cuts and creates an expedited pathway for debt limit relief; Senate Democrats this week are expected to release legislative text for a $2 trillion debt limit increase — sufficient to last through the 2022 midterm election.

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Congress passed a continuing resolution to maintain government funding through Feb. 18, 2022. The bill does not further suspend Medicare cuts slated to take effect in the new year. Meanwhile, the Senate continues work on the Build Back Better Act, debt limit legislation, and defense appropriations.

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policy

Cutting the DSH program — especially with hospitals still on the front lines of COVID-19 — is misguided. Our latest Our View dispels common misconceptions about these proposed DSH cuts.

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Congress must act to avoid a government shutdown Friday; House leadership is expected to introduce a continuing resolution to fund the government through January 2022. Meanwhile, both chambers are racing to extend the debt limit and pass the Build Back Better Act.

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While essential hospitals support the bill's goals to expand health care coverage and strengthen the health care workforce, they cannot accept the damaging cuts it would make to funding for hospitals that care for low-income patients and underserved communities.

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The Congressional Budget Office this week is expected to release a full score of the $1.75 trillion "human infrastructure" package. Meanwhile, congressional leaders say it is unlikely appropriators will reach an agreement to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2022 by the Dec. 3 deadline.

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The House passed the $1 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure bill after agreeing on a path forward for the $1.75 trillion "human infrastructure" bill. New language in the human infrastructure measure calls for Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices and retains Medicaid DSH cuts.

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President Joe Biden last week announced a $1.75 trillion framework for "human infrastructure" reconciliation legislation; the House subsequently released updated legislative text for its human infrastructure bill that aims to close the Medicaid coverage gap.

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America’s Essential Hospitals and members of Congress agree: the interim rule does not accurately reflect congressional intent. Instead, it includes a lopsided IDR method that favors insurers.

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Democrats aim to reach a deal this week on a "human infrastructure" reconciliation framework, but topline spending numbers, social policy priorities, and other details remain undecided. Once the framework is set, the House will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan physical infrastructure bill.

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In a letter to congressional leaders, America's Essential Hospitals advocates for strengthening the health care workforce in the wake of COVID-19, including through more funding in public health emergencies, prioritized visas for foreign clinicians, and increased graduate medical education slots.

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Essential hospitals continue to experience increased costs and fewer resources, including staffing, due to the pandemic. We call on Congress to address various priorities to ensure our members remain able to carry out their mission to serve people who face social and financial barriers to care.

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Reports indicate Democrats are likely to land on "human infrastructure" legislation costing $2.3 trillion or less — far below the $3.5 trillion package originally passed in committee. Absent a top-line spending agreement, lawmakers cannot determine the policies to include in a final bill.

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policy

The Senate voted Oct. 7 to temporarily increase the debt ceiling by $480 billion; the government likely will remain below the new ceiling through year's end.

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After passing a short-term measure to fund the government through Dec. 3, Congress shifts focus to the federal debt ceiling. A Republican filibuster in the Senate prevented passage of legislation to extend the debt limit; lawmakers must resolve the issue by Oct. 18 to avoid default.

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The Senate remains in a stalemate over a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through Dec. 3, leaving congressional leaders little time to avoid an Oct. 1 shutdown. House debate begins on a physical infrastructure bill and work continues on "human infrastructure" legislation.

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The House this week is expected to consider a continuing resolution to temporarily extend current funding levels for the federal government. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) intend to suspend the debt limit as part of the resolution.

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The House is scheduled to return to Capitol Hill next week, but House committees continue to meet and craft their sections of the Build Back Better Act, a "human infrastructure" reconciliation bill. House committees aim to complete markups by Sept. 15, with a full House vote possible before October.

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policy

House committees begin marking up portions of the forthcoming "human infrastructure" reconciliation package, which is expected to include provisions to expand health coverage and lower prescription drug prices. The association's calls for government relations professionals will resume Sept. 9.

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In a letter to Democratic congressional leadership, the association urges consideration of essential hospital priorities — including funding for critical workforce and hospital infrastructure needs and protecting the 340B Drug Pricing Program — in forthcoming budget reconciliation legislation.

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The House passed a procedural rule setting the stage for the chamber's development of a "human infrastructure" package under budget reconciliation. In a concession to moderate Democrats, the rule calls for the House to vote by Sept. 27 on the bipartisan physical infrastructure legislation.

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The House pauses its August break to work on the bipartisan physical infrastructure package and $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget resolution. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) aims to pass both measures by Oct. 1 but faces some opposition from moderate House Democrats.

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policy

The Senate passed a $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget resolution with no Republican support; House leaders called members back to Capitol Hill for a brief legislative session Aug. 23. Moderate House Democrats are urging leadership to call a vote on the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill.

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policy

The Senate voted 69–30 to advance a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats released a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, the precursor to a partisan reconciliation bill on “human infrastructure” priorities. Notably, the resolution does not contain a debt limit increase.

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The Senate released much-anticipated legislative language for a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure package. While the legislation includes no major health care policies, it does list several health care changes to help pay for new spending.

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Negotiations continue on a bipartisan physical infrastructure plan after Senate Republicans blocked a procedural vote to begin formal deliberations on the framework. Republican senators opposed the legislative text because it is not final and has no Congressional Budget Office score.

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As a bipartisan group of senators crafts infrastructure legislation, Senate Democrats work to develop a human infrastructure package.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aims to vote on a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, as well as a budget resolution to begin the process of advancing a "human infrastructure" package, before the chamber adjourns for its August recess.

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On July 1, the House passed a five-year $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill, fulfilling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) commitment to clear an infrastructure bill before the July Fourth holiday. The Senate continues work to develop broad infrastructure legislation.

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policy

A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement with the White House on a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure framework that lists extending the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut as a potential method of funding the package. Lawmakers now must turn the framework into legislation.

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Senators continue efforts to build consensus on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure proposal introduced last week, but Democrats are taking steps to initiate the budget reconciliation process in case those talks ultimately fall short.

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The new infrastructure deal comes after months-long negotiations between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans fell apart. It includes roughly $579 billion in new spending. However, lawmakers in both parties expressed skepticism that the plan could secure enough votes to pass the Senate.

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A bipartisan infrastructure plan is unlikely to pass the Senate by July. Democrats are likely to explore using budget reconciliation, but a recent parliamentarian ruling indicates they might be unable to attempt the process using the FY 2021 budget resolution.

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Republicans offer a $928 billion counterproposal to President Joe Biden's $1.7 trillion infrastructure package. Leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and House Committee on Energy and Commerce seek information on developing a public health insurance option.

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policy

The Senate confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Several Senate committees last week examined issues of importance to essential hospitals, including telehealth, hospital consolidation, and the medical supply chain.

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Brooks-LaSure takes the reins at CMS at a critical juncture for our nation, as COVID-19 and its lingering economic effects make access to health care coverage more important than ever. Her knowledge of, and experience with, Medicaid and Medicare make her well suited to meet these challenges.

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The Senate voted to advance the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator; a full Senate vote could take place this week. America's Essential Hospitals hosted a virtual Capitol Hill briefing in recognition of the association's 40th anniversary.

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policy

In a set of letters, America’s Essential Hospitals urges the administration and congressional leaders to address pressing facility needs of essential hospitals and the health care safety net.

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President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with House and Senate lawmakers this week to discuss a bipartisan path forward on infrastructure legislation ahead of his fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. The Senate is expected to confirm Andrea Joan Palm as deputy secretary of health and human services.

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President Biden's address to Congress focused on his proposals to rebuild and revamp the nation's infrastructure, including the American Families Plan.

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We applaud the president's focus on equity and building a strong social safety net and his success combating COVID-19, and we urge the administration to ensure ongoing and sustainable support for Medicaid and hospitals' infrastructure needs.

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Senate Republicans release a $568 billion infrastructure framework to kickstart negotiations. House Democrats and Republicans reintroduce opposing prescription drug pricing bills. A CMS decision delays advancement of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure's nomination for CMS administrator.

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We applaud Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and his colleagues for recognizing the need to confront the influence of racism on the social determinants of health. Their resolution is part of the solution to achieving greater health equity.

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The president met with a group of bipartisan lawmakers to discuss his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan infrastructure proposal; other lawmakers have expressed interest in a less costly, more targeted package. The Senate Committee on Finance is expected to advance two Biden administration nominees.

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Extending the Medicare sequester moratorium through the end of this year provides much-needed relief for essential hospitals, which continue to face heavy financial pressure from their front-line response to COVID-19, the association says.

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The House will vote as early as tonight to extend the moratorium on the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut; CMS has held provider claims in anticipation of this bill passing. Meanwhile, lawmakers continue conversations on infrastructure funding and workplace violence prevention.

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The Senate advanced legislation extending the moratorium on a 2 percent Medicare sequester cut; however, it is unlikely the House will take up the measure before April 1, when the cut is scheduled to take effect. The association submitted a letter of support for the LIFT America Act.

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Essential Insights

The community that held members together in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks continues to hold members together today, Christine Capito Burch reflects.

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The House voted to extend the moratorium on a 2 percent Medicare sequester cut, but the bill lacks support from Senate Republicans. The Senate confirms Xavier Becerra. A reintroduced bipartisan bill would ensure 340B hospitals can maintain program eligibility while responding to COVID-19.

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Extending the Medicare sequester moratorium through year's end and waiving the PAYGO cut later this year would provide needed relief for hospitals as they continue to face financial and resource constraints due to COVID-19.

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If Congress does not take action, providers could face a cumulative 6 percent cut to Medicare payments. Urge your House delegation to vote in favor of H.R. 1868 during the floor vote this week.

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The House this week will vote on legislation to extend the moratorium on a 2 percent Medicare sequester cut. House Democrats unveil an infrastructure package that prioritizes funding for construction and modernization activities to bolster public health preparedness and cyberattack prevention.

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The association will convene its virtual spring Policy Assembly March 16. Whether or not you join us, these resources are available to encourage your legislators to protect access to care.

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The legislation includes $8.5 billion in funding for certain rural providers that serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and a a temporary increase in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotments.

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Our members thank Congress and the Biden administration for making timely investments in the American Rescue Plan Act. As the fight against COVID-19 continues, we will continue to work with Congress to secure further support for essential hospitals in future legislation.

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With a 50–50 party split in the Senate, Democrats must remain united and rely on Vice President Kamala Harris' vote to confirm the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of health and human services.

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The $1.9 trillion package temporarily increases Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotments to ensure essential hospitals receive the same level of payments as they would have expected absent the pandemic. The package returns to the House for a final vote, expected as early as Tuesday.

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The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill would ensure essential hospitals receive the same level of Medicaid DSH payments as they would have absent the pandemic. Xavier Becerra's nomination as secretary of health and human services is expected to reach the Senate floor as early as next week.

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Essential Insights

Reconciliation and bipartisanship were vital to the origin story of America’s Essential Hospitals and will play a key role in the association's future.

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policy

Congress races to pass COVID-19 relief through the budget reconciliation process before enhanced unemployment benefits expire March 14. Senate committees hold confirmation hearings for Xavier Becerra as secretary of health and human services.

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The budget reconciliation package now moving through Congress does not include additional funding for hospitals. Members should contact their senators today and urge them to support essential hospital priorities in COVID-19 relief legislation.

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The House is expected to vote on a compiled reconciliation bill the week of Feb. 22. The Senate for the second time has acquitted former President Donald Trump of impeachment charges. House members are circulating a bipartisan letter calling for protections to the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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House and Senate committees are working on the details of COVID-19 relief under the budget reconciliation process. The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is underway; members of both parties have indicated they prefer a short and swift trial.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a joint budget resolution to advance President Biden's COVID-19 relief priorities through budget reconciliation. Senate leaders have yet to agree on an organizing resolution finalizing operations for the 117th Congress.

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The second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is expected to begin in early February, with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) presiding. House committees with jurisdiction over health care issues add new members to their rosters.

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For the second time, the House has impeached Donald Trump — this time, for his role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. Law enforcement descends on Washington amid threats of violence surrounding the inauguration. The Biden transition team releases a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.

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Due to the events of Jan. 6 and discord surrounding the November elections, we have suspended contributions from our Essential Hospitals Political Action Committee to members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of a free and fair election.

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policy

Following the uprising at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, lawmakers completed their constitutional duty and certified Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President–elect Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, Democrats swept special elections in Georgia, giving the party 50 Senate seats.

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In the first week of the new Congress, lawmakers will focus on certification of Electoral College votes and a Georgia special election that will determine which party controls the Senate. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was re-elected speaker of the House.

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The $2.3 trillion package to fund the government, provide new COVID-19 relief, and stimulate the economy would eliminate a $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments and add $3 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, among numerous other changes.

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Congress' first actions in the new year include deciding how to conduct business with the continuing COVID-19 threat and certifying the Electoral College votes for U.S. president. In the House, lawmakers will vote to select a speaker.

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policy

The continuing resolution delays until Dec. 19 a scheduled $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments. Meanwhile, lawmakers introduce a new, two-part $908 billion legislative proposal for COVID-19 relief, as well as a deal on legislation regarding surprise medical bills.

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This $4 billion cut—a third of all program funding—would destabilize hospitals and threaten access to care as the nation confronts a rapidly escalating health care crisis. We now must turn to solutions that protect hospitals and their communities for the long term.

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policy

Congress indicates plans to pursue a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government funded at current levels through Dec. 18. A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a framework for a $908 billion COVID-19 relief deal, reinvigorating negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

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Unless Congress acts by December 11, Medicaid DSH funding will be cut by $4 billion—a third of all program funding—while COVID-19 continues to spread and impact patients and communities served by essential hospitals.

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policy

Without congressional action, the government on Dec. 12 will enter a shutdown and $4 billion will be cut from Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments. Meanwhile, negotiations are deadlocked on additional COVID-19 relief.

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policy

In the lame-duck session, Congress will focus on stopping a Medicaid DSH funding cut, averting a government shutdown, and providing COVID-19 relief. The House passed bipartisan bills to enhance research on minority health disparities, address the opioid crisis, and support trauma centers.

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policy

Urge your senators and representatives to contact congressional leadership immediately and demand legislation before the end of the year that includes essential hospital priorities. 

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policy

Senators re-elect their leadership teams, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY); the House will vote on party leadership this week. Senate Republicans introduce $1.4 trillion legislative package to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2021.

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policy

Lawmakers will prioritize funding for the federal government and additional COVID-19 relief. Join America's Essential Hospitals for a Nov. 18 webinar analyzing the impact of the elections on essential hospitals and health care policy. Registration open for our postelection Policy Assembly, Dec. 8–9.

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policy

In a response to Republican leaders of House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over the 340B Drug Pricing Program, America's Essential Hospitals said the program needs no fundamental reforms and continues to provide vital support to essential hospitals.

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policy

With the arrival of Election Day, the next opportunity for a new COVID-19 relief package might not happen until after the new year. America's Essential Hospitals has opened registration for Policy Assembly, a virtual event scheduled for Dec. 8 and 9.

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policy

In response to stakeholder and congressional feedback, the Department of Health and Human Services revised reporting requirements for health care providers who receive more than $10,000 total in Provider Relief Fund payments.

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policy

Responding to concerns raised by the association and lawmakers, the Department of Health and Human Services has altered detrimental reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Fund, including one regarding lost revenue.

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webinar

The association’s legislative experts shared their analysis and insights on how the outcome of the November elections could impact essential hospitals and shape health care policy.

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policy

A bipartisan House letter urges the administration to rescind harmful Provider Relief Fund reporting changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says an agreement must be reached by Tuesday to pass COVID-19 relief legislation before Election Day; the Senate will vote this week on targeted COVID-19 relief.

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A bipartisan letter circulating in the House urges HHS Secretary Alex Azar to rescind a harmful Sept. 19 notice that changed Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements, potentially forcing essential hospitals and other providers to return portions of previously dispersed funds.

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policy

Congress is no closer to passing further COVID-19 relief after a tumultuous week of negotiations. Senators urge HHS to reconsider recent guidance on Provider Relief Fund payments. The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

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policy

The House-passed $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package would increase Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotments and the Provider Relief Fund. Meanwhile, Congress now has until Dec. 11 to pass its annual spending bills or agree to another short-term CR.

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Essential hospitals thank House leaders for recognizing in the legislation the ongoing needs of providers that form the backbone of the health care safety net and for taking additional steps to support their service to patients and communities.

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policy

The Senate this week will consider a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown the day before the fiscal year ends. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asks committee chairs to draft revised COVID-19 legislation as she reopens negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on COVID-19 relief.

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policy

In a Sept. 25 letter to Congress, America’s Essential Hospitals urged lawmakers to include policies that bolster the health care safety net as part of legislative efforts to help rectify the unconscionable health inequities among vulnerable populations across the country.

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policy

As the nation mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, attention on Capitol Hill is focused who will fill her seat and how soon the confirmation process will begin. Meanwhile, Congress has about a week to pass a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown.

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policy

House Democrats released a continuing resolution to maintain government funding through Dec. 11. The legislation would delay a $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding and change the recoupment and repayment terms for the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.

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policy

Lawmakers have less than three weeks to fund the federal government through the November election before current funding runs out. The prospect of Congress advancing COVID-19 relief legislation before the election appears unlikely.

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policy

Nearly 250 members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing concerns about recent actions by several drug manufacturers to impose policy changes that would undermine the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

We strongly support this letter and oppose the damaging actions by manufacturers to undermine the 340B program for covered entities, including essential hospitals.

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policy

The Senate reconvenes and is expected to consider a COVID-19 relief package. The Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on COVID-19 vaccines. A bipartisan group of House lawmakers circulates a letter to HHS expressing concern about drug manufacturer attacks on 340B contract pharmacies.

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policy

Opportunities are dwindling for congressional negotiators to agree on additional COVID-19 relief legislation. During this last week of the August recess, essential hospitals should tell their delegations to urge House and Senate leadership to expeditiously address essential hospital needs.

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policy

The Senate officially adjourned for August recess; House lawmakers will return to Washington this weekend to address postal service funding.

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policy

Democratic and Republican negotiators failed to reach a deal on the next COVID-19 supplemental package. After negotiations faltered, President Trump issued four executive orders and memoranda related to pandemic relief, but the legality of the executive actions could be challenged.

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policy

Republicans and Democrats have yet to make progress in negotiations on the next COVID-19 bill; the association shared essential hospital priorities with congressional leadership. A new House bill would ensure hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program will not lose eligibility during the pandemic.

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webinar

Hear association leaders share what’s happened, what’s new, and what’s next for the essential hospital response to COVID-19 and structural racism, and preview Virtual VITAL2020 programming.

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policy

Republican and Democratic leaders now are negotiating what policies to include in a final version of the fourth COVID-19 legislative package. Now is the time to contact your Senators and Representatives and push for additional COVID-19 relief for essential hospitals.

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policy

The highly anticipated bill would add $25 billion to the Provider Relief Fund and extend Medicare telehealth flexibility. It would not block the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation or delay the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cut scheduled for Dec. 1.

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policy

Republicans and Democrats remain divided on relief measures to include in a fourth COVID-19 package; the association encourages members to share essential hospital priorities. An association letter to key congressional committees highlights the importance of telehealth during and after the pandemic.

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Rep. John Lewis championed the mission-driven work of essential hospitals and steadfastly supported policies to safeguard their service to vulnerable patients, communities, and the health care safety net.

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policy

The association calls on member hospitals to urge their senators to include essential hospital relief measures in future COVID-19 supplemental legislation. House committees continue work on COVID-19 oversight and fiscal year 2021 spending bills. 

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policy

As Senate leaders consider a fourth COVID-19 aid package, the president signs legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program. A bipartisan bill would ensure 340B hospitals maintain eligibility amid COVID-19, regardless of payer mix changes.

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policy

The House passed legislation to strengthen the ACA and is expected to pass an infrastructure bill authorizing $10 billion for hospital construction and modernization; the Senate is unlikely to consider the bills. The association responds to a congressional request for lessons learned from COVID-19.

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policy

Hearings are slated this week in several committees to examine the COVID-19 pandemic and response. Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders introduced a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment package that would dedicate $10 billion over five years to hospital construction and modernization.

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policy

House and Senate lawmakers are analyzing and reacting to last week's announcement of new Provider Relief Fund allocations for safety-net providers; committees are slated to examine the role of telehealth and disparities as the pandemic has progressed.

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policy

In a letter to Senate leaders, America's Essential Hospitals outlines key legislative priorities to assist essential hospitals in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 public health emergency as Congress considers another supplemental bill.

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policy

The letter urges HHS to target COVID-19 provider relief funds toward hospitals serving a disproportionate number of vulnerable patients. The timeline for developing and negotiating the next COVID-19 supplemental legislative package has slipped to July.

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We thank Sens. Capito and Menendez, and their Senate colleagues, for their bipartisan efforts to target relief funding to hospitals caring for Medicaid and low-income patients.

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We wholeheartedly agree with the leaders of the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees: Emergency aid allocations so far have disadvantaged essential hospitals, and new distributions must target hospitals that care for many Medicaid patients.

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policy

The House passed a bipartisan bill on a 417-1 vote to loosen some restrictions on Paycheck Protection Program relief funds and extend the timeline for businesses to use the funding. The House and Senate are in session this week and will conduct committee work related to COVID-19.

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policy

Voting by proxy for the first time, the House is slated to decide this week on legislation to amend the Paycheck Protection Program to increase the amount of time small businesses have to spend emergency COVID-19 aid.

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policy

The House passed a resolution temporarily permitting proxy voting and remote committee work, as well as a new stimulus package. Meanwhile, more than 90 representatives signed a letter calling for relief payments for providers seeing a disproportionate number of Medicaid and low-income patients.

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The HEROES Act would take important steps to support the safety-net mission of essential hospitals, which care for the disadvantaged people and underserved communities disproportionately harmed by COVID-19.

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policy

The House approved the HEROES Act by a narrow margin. While the bill will not become law, it contains a number of provisions important to essential hospitals and for which the association will advocate in any final COVID-19 supplemental legislation.

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More than 90 House members sent a bipartisan letter to the administration calling for targeting of COVID-19 emergency funding to hospitals that serve large numbers of Medicaid and low-income patients.

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policy

House Democratic leaders released a comprehensive COVID-19 legislative package. The association is calling on member hospitals to ask their representatives to sign a bipartisan letter on targeting COVID-19 emergency funds toward essential providers.

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policy

The Senate returns to Washington this week, with the House expected to return May 11. Congressional hearings this week will focus on COVID-19 response efforts, including testing. Meanwhile, several association webinars will focus on health care workforce issues related to the pandemic.

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policy

The House and Senate passed legislation to provide an additional $484 billion in relief for small businesses and health care entities impacted by COVID-19. A new bipartisan House task force will examine how to adapt legislative business and voting procedures to social distancing practices.

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policy

The bipartisan legislation provides $484 billion in resources across the Department of Health and Human Services and the Small Business Administration, including an additional $75 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for providers.

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America's Essential Hospitals thanks Congress for this additional aid and the inclusion of demographic data reporting to help illuminate and respond to the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on communities of color.

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policy

Negotiations continue on a final agreement, which is expected to include funding for small businesses, hospitals, and coronavirus testing. America's Essential Hospitals urges members to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support the association's COVID-19 priorities.

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policy

As Congress considers a potential fourth COVID-19 legislative package, contact your House and Senate lawmakers immediately and urge them to support essential hospitals’ priorities.

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policy

Congress should increase emergency funding for hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic, target hospitals in greatest need, adjust Medicaid to help essential hospitals, and provide other financial and regulatory relief.

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policy

Senate lawmakers continue to negotiate the next round of legislation to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, America's Essential Hospitals, in a letter to congressional leadership, shared its priorities for the next COVID-19 supplemental bill.

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policy

House Democratic leaders seek to bolster economic aid and unemployment benefits, extend community health center funding, and increase workplace protections for health care workers and first responders.

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policy

House Democratic leaders are developing a fourth COVID-19 supplemental funding bill on the heels of a $2 trillion aid package the president signed last week. This fourth legislative package could include measures to enhance protections for health care workers.

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policy

President Trump has signed a $2 trillion package of COVID-19 aid that provides $100 billion to hospitals and other providers, averts cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, suspends Medicare sequester cuts, and includes numerous other relief measures.

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webinar

Dive into Congress’ third COVID-19 response package, and learn what resources are available for essential hospitals.

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policy

The $2 trillion bill includes $100 billion for a Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care–related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.

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With COVID-19 poised to overwhelm the nation’s health care infrastructure, the Senate vote on funding support is welcome and appreciated as hospital resources are stretched thin. We thank congressional leaders for recognizing the support our member hospitals need during this unprecedented crisis.

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policy

As the Senate continues work on a third legislative package to address public health and economic needs during the COVID-19 crisis, House Democrats introduced an alternative that includes provisions important to essential hospitals and key changes absent in the Senate bill.

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policy

After two failed votes, senators continue negotiations on a $1.6 trillion funding package to boost the economy and improve access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, House Democratic leadership unveiled competing legislation to provide relief.

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policy

A third major legislative response to COVID-19 would provide $75 billion in emergency funding for hospitals and health care providers, delay until fiscal year 2022 a planned $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, and authorize other support.

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policy

The law increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to states, allows states to extend Medicaid eligibility, and requires diagnostic test coverage.

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policy

The association sent House and Senate leaders a letter detailing the needs of essential hospitals as they face the COVID-19 outbreak. Members of America's Essential Hospitals should urge lawmakers to support the priorities in our letter.

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policy

This second supplemental legislative package to address the new coronavirus would increase the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) to states, require insurance coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic tests and visits, extend paid leave, and more.

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policy

President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $8.3 billion in funding to several federal agencies for COVID-19 response.

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The Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020 takes an important step toward a solution to surprise medical bills that protects patients and increases transparency without putting hospitals at a disadvantage in negotiations with insurers.

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policy

As the impeachment trial ends, House and Senate leaders will transition back to their legislative priorities, including reducing out-of-pocket health care costs.

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policy

America’s Essential Hospitals encourages members to submit by Feb. 1 comments to CMS detailing the devastating impact of the MFAR’s proposed provisions and to urge House and Senate members to weigh in with the administration.

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policy

The proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation would sharply curtail flexibility states now have to finance and structure Medicaid to serve vulnerable people. Congress must step in immediately and demand that CMS withdraw this damaging rule in its entirety.

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policy

The Senate trial begins this week on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals this week is closely following congressional health care committee efforts to develop a robust legislative package to stop impending cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding and extend funding for several expiring health care programs.

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policy

After delaying Medicaid DSH cuts and extending funding for other health care programs by five additional months, congressional leaders are expected to leverage the new May 22 expiration date to advance bills to lower drug prices and protect patients from surprise medical bills.

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policy

Congress approved and the president signed a fiscal year 2020 spending package that delays through May 22, 2020, a $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments.

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policy

Congressional leaders have delayed for five months a $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments under comprehensive legislation to fund federal operations for the remainder of fiscal year 2020, which started Oct. 1.

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Today's House vote on a spending package and Senate support will avert the harm sure to result from a $4 billion payment cut for hospitals that care for millions of low-income people. Now, we must turn to longer-term relief for essential hospitals and their patients.

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policy

Lawmakers have three weeks to agree on funding for the federal government and various health care programs, including Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments. The House resumes its impeachment investigation with a Judiciary Committee hearing.

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policy

The latest continuing resolution, which funds the government through Dec. 20, will give Congress more time to negotiate a longer-term agreement on government spending and relief from impending cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments.

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We thank House and Senate lawmakers for again standing with essential hospitals and vulnerable patients by delaying an unsustainable, damaging cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments.

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policy

The House is scheduled to vote on a continuing resolution that would extend federal funding through Dec. 20 and further delay a scheduled $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments; House impeachment hearings continue.

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policy

While lawmakers continue negotiations on fiscal year 2020 spending bills and prescription drug pricing legislation, committees will hold hearings on electronic cigarette use, state efforts to undermine reproductive health care, and the presidential impeachment inquiry.

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policy

Twelve spending bills must advance through Congress and be signed by the president by Nov. 21 to fully fund the federal government for fiscal year 2020.

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policy

A House vote on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, scheduled for this week, has been postponed to allot more time for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score the bill.

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policy

Essential hospital leaders will meet with lawmakers this week at our fall Policy Assembly amid government funding talks and drug pricing negotiations.

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policy

Essential hospitals tackle social determinants of health while operating with limited means. Congress must act to preserve the federal support essential hospitals rely on to fulfill their mission of care for all and keep communities healthy.

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policy

Negotiations continue on funding the federal government — and averting Medicaid DSH cuts — while House committees hold hearings and markups on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

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policy

Congress will focus on the looming deadline to fund the federal government and address the $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding.

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policy

President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution delaying disproportionate share hospital funding cuts to Nov. 22; House Speaker Pelosi launched an impeachment inquiry.

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The Senate's bipartisan action, like that of the House, recognizes the vital role essential hospitals play across the country in caring for vulnerable patients and communities — and the threat DSH cuts pose to access to care.

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policy

A continuing resolution to fund the federal government, including the disproportionate share hospital program, through Nov. 21 heads to the Senate; House Speaker Pelosi introduces a drug pricing bill.

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The continuing resolution averts the imminent and deeply damaging $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments.

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policy

DSH cuts will start Oct. 1 without congressional action; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to introduce a drug pricing proposal; the House considers a stopgap government funding measure.

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policy

Lawmakers must act before Oct. 1 to stop the $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, extend expiring health care programs, and fund government operations for fiscal year 2020.

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policy

The bipartisan deal averts a $125 billion cut to federal discretionary spending, raises spending caps by $324 billion, and partially offsets costs by extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare provider payments,

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Essential Insights

Americans have repeatedly voiced their desire for policymakers to reduce high health care costs; Congress and the Trump Administration — and even state leaders — have heard their message loud and clear.

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The committee’s action on DSH funding marks a significant step forward in efforts to save the safety net from a fiscal cliff Oct. 1, when a $4 billion DSH funding cut is set to take effect.

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policy

A House panel marked up legislation to eliminate $16 billion in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts, mitigate surprise bills, and fund expiring health care programs.

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Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce takes an important step toward saving essential hospitals from a fiscal cliff by approving legislation that would eliminate two years of deep cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding.

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policy

As Congress returns from the July Fourth recess, lawmakers focus on legislation to reduce surprise medical bills and prescription drug costs, as well as extend short-term funding for community behavioral health clinics.

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policy

Also last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions advanced the bipartisan Lower Health Care Costs Act and the House Committee on Ways and Means marked up five Medicare-focused bills.

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We thank President Trump for signing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, which will direct more resources to hospitals and other providers on the front lines of disasters and other public health threats.

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policy

A House-passed bill to extend funding for Medicaid programs heads to the Senate; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions introduced the Lower Health Care Costs Act.

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policy

House and Senate committees this month remain focused on legislation to reduce surprise billing and health care costs. The House last week began deliberations on a $987 million spending package to fund many federal agencies for FY 2020.

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policy

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovations Act would provide $385 million annually for the Hospital Preparedness Program. Congress stacks its agenda ahead of the July Fourth recess, focusing on health care funding, surprise billing, single-payer proposals, and drug pricing.

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policy

A House subcommittee hearing features testimony from an essential hospital on the importance of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding. The House is expected to approve a bill providing $385 million in annual funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program.

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policy

A draft plan from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee aims to end surprise medical bills for out-of-network emergency services, reduce prescription drug prices, and improve transparency in health care costs, among other priorities.

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policy

In a May 17 Capitol Hill briefing, leaders from NYC Health + Hospitals, East Alabama Medical Center, and Eskenazi Health shared how disproportionate share hospital funding sustains their hospitals.

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policy

The Senate last week passed a new version of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019. House and Senate panels continue work to address balance billing and drug pricing ahead of next week's recess.

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We applaud the letter’s organizers, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pete Olson (R-TX), and all their House colleagues for recognizing the severe threat posed by Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts and standing up for patients, communities, and hospitals.

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policy

Hearings focused on rising drug costs and pricing transparency. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reintroduced a measure to bolster consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act. Both chambers will return to legislative business on April 29.

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The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission analysis shows hospitals that care for Medicaid and uninsured patients still depend on Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments to meet this mission. Congress must act now to stop the October disproportionate share hospital payment cuts.

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policy

Seven pharmaceutical company executives will testify in a Senate Committee on Finance hearing about prescription drug pricing practices.

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policy

The president signs a multibillion-dollar funding package and declares a national emergency, which now faces multiple court challenges. Two House Democrats announce plans to introduce Medicare-for-all legislation.

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policy

Congressional committees requested information from providers and health plans on balance billing practices and invited several pharmaceutical companies to testify in a hearing on drug pricing; congressional negotiators strike a tentative deal to avoid another federal shutdown.

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policy

As the president prepares to deliver his State of the Union address this week, Congressional committees remain focused on health care costs and threats to the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 heads to President Trump for approval. Meanwhile, a new bill would limit the use of Medicaid to care for undocumented immigrants.

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We now call on the Senate to invest in the nation’s disaster response and public health infrastructure by reauthorizing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Innovation Act.

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policy

The 116th session of Congress convenes as leaders seek a deal to end a partial government shutdown, while health care legislation hangs in the balance.

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policy

House and Senate Democratic leaders vowed to pursue legislation to intervene after a judge ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; negotiations continue on a spending package to fund portions of the federal government before current funding expires on Dec. 21.

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policy

A new association tracker lists grants and demonstration projects available under H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, that will be available to essential hospitals.

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policy

Ahead of the holiday recess, the Senate needs to approve the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovations Act, while both chambers work to finalize a year-end spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown.

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policy

President Trump has agreed to sign a short-term extension of government funding for many federal agencies to avoid a partial government shutdown; House Democratic Caucus last week elected leadership for the next session of Congress.

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policy

The House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday will hold closed-door votes to elect its leadership team for the next session of Congress; Congress faces several deadlines as lawmakers return from the holiday weekend.

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policy

Senators of both parties and House Republicans last week began elections for leadership positions in the 116th session of Congress; after the Thanksgiving holiday, lawmakers will continue work to approve a spending bill by Dec. 7.

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policy

Next steps for both parties include choosing leadership for the next Congress and, for Republicans, accomplishing remaining legislative priorities while they still control all levers of the federal government.

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webinar

Join the America’s Essential Hospitals advocacy team as they break down the results of the 2018 midterm elections and their effect on future health care policy priorities

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policy

The new law, which represents the federal government’s first comprehensive policy response to the nation’s opioid crisis, aims to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect communities, and bolster efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs.

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policy

Senators left Washington earlier than expected to campaign for midterm elections after confirming 15 federal judicial nominees and failing to overturn a regulation expanding short-term insurance plans.

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policy

As midterm elections loom, Congress sent to the president the federal government's first comprehensive policy response to the nation's opioid crisis; a bipartisan House letter questions outpatient payment cuts; and New Hampshire senators introduced surprise billing legislation.

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webinar

Join us for a preview of the 2018 midterm elections, and learn how you can educate congressional candidates about the issues that matter most to your hospital.

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policy

The discussion draft addresses several patient care scenarios that could lead to surprise billing; Congress is expected to vote this week on reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, government funding for fiscal year 2019, and a bipartisan opioid package.

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policy

Two senators lead a letter-signing campaign to stop the expansion of hospital outpatient department cuts; in a 99-1 vote, the Senate approves legislation to combat the opioid crisis and is poised to vote on a spending bill for fiscal year 2019.

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policy

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan legislative package to combat the opioid crisis. The House considers legislation to roll back Affordable Care Act provisions.

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policy

Before starting the final campaign stretch, Congress returns to Washington to consider Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and to fund the federal government for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

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policy

Leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions expressed concern that the Health Resources and Services Administration is not using its existing authority to ensure proper management of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

The Senate passed a funding package for the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments and now must reconcile its version with House-passed legislation.

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policy

Senate leaders hope to pass by Labor Day legislation to appropriate funds for the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments; a Senate committee will examine Medicaid fraud.

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policy

Congress is expected to consider legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, fund the Department of Health and Human Services, and enable federal response to pandemic threats.

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policy

Senate action on opioid legislation has been delayed by the debate over the Supreme Court nomination and what to include in the final package; Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators likely will consider opioid legislation after the August recess.

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policy

Bills to repeal the medical device tax and expand health savings accounts go to a House floor vote; a House committee advanced legislation that would fund the Hospital Preparedness Program at about $265 billion annually.

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policy

A Government Accountability Office witness and several 340B Drug Pricing Program stakeholders testified last week at a House committee hearing; another House committee marked up several consumer-driven health care bills.

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policy

The July 11 hearing will focus on contract pharmacies and a slate of 15 bills and discussion drafts related to the program; two essential hospital leaders will testify.

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policy

A new bill by Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) would impose a user fee for hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program; a House subcommittee marked up hospital preparedness and graduate medical education bills.

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policy

The legislation, containing more than 50 bills to combat the opioid crisis, now heads to the Senate; it is unclear whether senators will pass the package or consider their own legislation.

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Cleveland Clinic government affairs chief Carlos Jackson will join the association as its new vice president of legislative affairs and oversee the organization's Capitol Hill work.

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policy

Modeled on a program developed at essential hospital St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, in Paterson, N.J., the Alternatives to Opioids bill is one of 25 opioid-related bills the House passed last week.

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The bill would bring relief to essential hospitals and their patients from damaging Medicare outpatient payment cuts and much-needed accountability for manufacturers in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

The House aims to complete voting by the July Fourth recess, but Senate work on opioid legislation likely will continue into August amid a shortened recess.

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policy

Lawmakers previously aimed to pass an opioid package by Memorial Day; Committee hearings focus on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the president's blueprint to lower drug prices.

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policy

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, which includes $385 million annually for the Hospital Preparedness Program, has been cleared for consideration on the Senate floor; Congress aims to vote on opioid package before the July Fourth recess.

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policy

Senate Democrats sharply questioned the repeated delays of a final rule on drug ceiling prices and manufacturer civil monetary penalties; The House continues to focus on passing an opioid package.

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policy

House leadership remains focused on passing a bipartisan opioid-related legislative package by Memorial Day, but recently indicated a June vote might be more likely.

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policy

Four House hearings this week examine the opioid crisis, as lawmakers work to craft bipartisan legislation; A Senate hearing focuses on oversight reports on the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

House and Senate lawmakers last week reviewed more than 60 opioid-related bills before heading into a week-long recess.

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policy

House and Senate committees this week will mark up legislation to combat the opioid epidemic with the hope of passing a bipartisan bill by Memorial Day.

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policy

Senate and House panels hold hearings on opioid and substance use disorder treatment among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and how distributors might contribute to the crisis.

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policy

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold hearings this week on measures to combat the opioid epidemic.

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policy

When Congress returns next week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will consider more than a dozen bills during its third and final hearing on the opioid crisis.

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policy

The final package, passed last week, included $4 billion for combating the opioid crisis and a $10 billion increase in HHS funding, but left out measures to stabilize the insurance marketplace.

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policy

The House of Representatives approved a $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill that includes nearly $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis and increased funding for the National Institutes of Health.

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policy

Negotiations on the bill have stalled amid disagreements on certain provisions, such as including language barring abortion access as part of a package to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace.

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policy

In its annual report to Congress, the commission also recommends curbing Medicare Advantage plan consolidation and evaluating telehealth services before including them in coverage.

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policy

House Republicans this week hope to bring to the floor a bill to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year; America's Essential Hospitals CEO asked to testify during Senate committee hearing on 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

Congress this week is focused on negotiating legislation to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace and efforts to fight the opioid crisis.

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policy

House hearings will review legislation on enforcement measures to combat the opioid crisis; a new Senate bill would provide funding for prevention and treatment programs.

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policy

Republicans from both chambers work on a marketplace stabilization package; Senate Finance Committee Republicans plan to review the Internal Revenue Service's process for designating nonprofit hospitals.

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policy

The budget plan for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 proposes changes to the distribution of 340B Drug Pricing Program savings and increased funding to fight the opioid crisis.

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policy

America’s Essential Hospitals thanks its member hospitals and congressional champions for their hard work and advocacy during the lengthy process to finalize a two-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding cuts.

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Congress made the right choice this morning for patients and communities by voting to halt damaging cuts to hospitals that care for low-income working families and others who face financial challenges.

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policy

The measure, which updates a continuing resolution set to expire on Feb. 8, delays cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

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The groups called for swift action on seven programs and policies lawmakers left out of a Jan. 19 continuing resolution that funds the government through Feb. 8 and that extended the Children’s Health Insurance Program by six years.

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policy

The association continues to work with congressional leadership and staff to ensure a delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts is included in the next funding measure; Senate confirms new Health and Human Services Secretary.

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policy

The measure passed by Congress and signed by President Trump Monday funds the government through Feb. 8 and extends the Children's Health Insurance Program six years, but leaves unresolved a delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts.

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policy

The Senate needs 60 votes to avoid a filibuster and pass the continuing resolution. There are only 51 Republicans in the Senate, and several have said they won’t vote for the bill in its current form.

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We commend the House for funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but regret lawmakers chose not to extend the same support to hospitals at the center of our health care safety net.

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The harm from disproportionate share hospital cuts is imminent, but not unavoidable. Congress must act immediately to stop the cuts in its next government funding measure.

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policy

As Congress focuses on Jan. 19 funding deadline, America's Essential Hospitals continues pressure to delay Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts. The Trump administration releases guidance on work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

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The chief executives of 18 of the nation’s largest hospital systems that care for low-income patients asked congressional leaders for a two-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts.

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policy

The association launched an advocacy and media campaign calling on Congress to delay Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts as part of a long-term government funding measure.

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webinar

America’s Essential Hospitals continues to fight to protect the 340B Drug Pricing Program, a crucial source of support for essential hospitals. Participants heard an overview of our recent advocacy activities and an update on our next steps.

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policy

Congress returns from recess to focus on long-term solutions after passing a short-term bill to fund the government through Jan. 19; lawmakers push for delay of 340B Drug Pricing Program cuts.

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Hospitals cannot sustain these losses without scaling back services or closing altogether, especially as the ranks of the uninsured swell with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Congress must immediately halt the cuts when lawmakers return in January.

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policy

America’s Essential Hospitals will continue its fight to stop the onset of these cuts, and have assurances that lawmakers are committed to a two-year delay. We urge Congress to act swiftly to delay the Medicaid DSH cuts when lawmakers return in January.

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policy

The final tax deal includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, Advance Refunding Bonds and Private Activity Bonds.

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policy

Republican leaders hope to introduce the final tax reform bill early next week; a bill to stop cuts to the 340B Drug Pricing Program has 130 cosponsors.

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The House and Senate tax reform bills would destabilize hospitals that care for those who face financial hardships by triggering deep cuts to social programs.

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webinar

Staff experts shared insights on the legislative landscape for essential hospitals one year into the new administration and offered predictions for 2018.

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policy

The legislative priorities include a health care extenders package, tax reform, and a long-term funding bill. Also, bipartisan House legislation to halt 340B payment cuts now has more than 50 cosponsors.

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policy

The House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; the Senate version of the tax reform bill includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

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America's Essential Hospitals thanks Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) for legislation that would place a permanent moratorium on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy to cut $1.6 billion in Medicare Part B drug reimbursement from 340B hospitals.

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policy

The Finance Committee's "chairman's mark" is similar to a House bill, but forgoes many House provisions of particular concern to essential hospitals.

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policy

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill contain several provisions of concern to essential hospitals. This Action Update details the status of these issues in both versions.

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policy

The bill delays disproportionate share hospital payment cuts for two years; House Republicans consider repealing the individual mandate through tax reform.

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The vote moves us a step closer to protecting funding for hospitals that care for uninsured and underinsured patients and to preserving access to care for our nation’s children. America's Essential Hospitals now calls on the Senate to act in bipartisan fashion to do the same.

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policy

The CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act extends Children's Health Insurance Program funding for five years and delays cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments for two years.

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America's Essential Hospitals thanks House leaders for supporting vulnerable patients and essential hospitals with a proposed two-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding cuts.

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policy

A bipartisan Senate bill would fund cost-sharing reduction payments; Congress has yet to renew funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

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The end of cost-sharing reduction subsidies poses an imminent threat to those who depend on marketplace plans. America’s Essential Hospitals thanks Sens. Alexander and Murray for their bipartisan leadership to create more certainty in the individual market.

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Ending the government’s cost-sharing subsidies to insurers in the Affordable Care Act marketplace won’t fix the law’s shortcomings or move us closer to a workable alternative. It only will destabilize the insurance market and drive costs higher for patients who can least afford increases.

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policy

Senate and House bills to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program are similar, but the House version includes a one-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts.

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America's Essential Hospitals appreciates the one-year delay of cuts to disproportionate share hospital payments and will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for a two-year delay to provide greater stability for hospitals and more time to find a long-term fix.

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America’s Essential Hospitals applauds the HEALTHY KIDS Act for extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program but remains concerned the bill's disproportionate share hospital provision will make it harder to find a sustainable solution to uncompensated care.

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policy

The federal fiscal year came to a close Sept. 30, ending a nearly yearlong congressional effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and bringing tax reform efforts and other health care priorities to the forefront in Congress.

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policy

Reductions to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, went into effect on Oct. 1. A total of $2 billion will be cut from Medicaid DSH funding in fiscal year 2018 alone.

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The signers of the letter to Ryan and Pelosi include 162 Democrats and 59 Republicans from 41 states. They also include five House committee chairs and 13 committee ranking members.

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We hope the Senate’s decision to stop the rush to a vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal opens the door to renewed bipartisan talks on ways to fix the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals continues to advance our opposition to the Senate's Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal.

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The proposal appears to significantly restrict federal health care funding through per-capita caps and block grants; shift costs to states, patients, providers, and taxpayers; and achieve the same result as earlier bills: millions left uninsured.

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In a letter to House and Senate committees, leaders of more than 250 hospitals and health systems nationally urge Congress to stop a $2 billion disproportionate share hospital cut scheduled for Oct. 1 and to delay cuts for at least two years.

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policy

Lawmakers return from the August recess to consider legislation and policy related to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, market stabilization, and cost-sharing reductions.

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policy

Substantial cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments are set to begin on Oct. 1; strong and immediate input from essential hospitals is vital to successfully secure another delay.

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policy

Senate committees will focus on market stabilization legislation and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization; the association seeks to attach to the CHIP bill a delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts.

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policy

After Affordable Care Act repeal efforts collapsed in the Senate, the administration began considering options on cost-sharing reduction payments, but some lawmakers remain focused on repeal.

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With the Senate defeat of the repeal bill, America's Essential Hospitals urges lawmakers to turn their attention to averting Oct. 1 cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments and to renewing their commitment to CHIP and other elements of the safety net.

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All plans considered so far by Congress would end with the same terrible result: at least 22 million more uninsured people, devastating cuts to Medicaid, and higher costs for patients and taxpayers.

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policy

The Senate approved a motion to proceed, which is needed to open floor debate of a repeal bill; it remains unclear how the Senate will proceed.

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policy

Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he would bring up a repeal-only bill that includes a two-year transition period for replacing the Affordable Care Act, but three Republican senators oppose the plan.

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The revised Better Care Reconciliation Act leaves untouched the most destructive provisions of the original bill: those that would gut the Medicaid program and strip affordable coverage from millions of people.

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webinar

Attendees gained a comprehensive view of legislative and regulatory action in Washington, D.C, a preview of action in the fall, and our recommendations for messaging and strategy during Congress’ August recess.

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policy

Senate Republican leadership continues negotiations with Republican holdouts; a vote on the bill is expected before the month-long August recess.

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The Congressional Budget Office score of the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act confirms what most observers expected: The bill is as damaging as its deeply unpopular House counterpart, the American Health Care Act.

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policy

A revised draft of the Senate bill was released to address some Republicans' concerns, but it made no meaningful changes to the bill’s Medicaid provisions.

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policy

The brief projects Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment reductions under the Affordable Care Act and the House-passed American Health Care Act.

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Senate leaders have put ideology ahead of lives with a plan that puts health and home at risk for millions of working Americans.

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policy

A group of Republican and Democratic governors sent a letter to Senate leadership encouraging a bipartisan approach to repealing the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's annual report examines various issues in the Medicare payment system and offers recommendations to Congress.

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policy

Senate Republican leaders aim to submit a draft bill to the Congressional Budget Office early this week and vote on the bill before the July Fourth recess.

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policy

The committee’s intentions remain unclear; we recommend essential hospitals prepare to publicly describe what auditors found and corrective actions taken.

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The Eliminating Health Disparities Act of 2017, introduced in April by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, would allow states to apply for Medicaid state plan amendments to establish a Health Disparities Elimination Program.

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policy

Senate Republican leadership recently indicated the possibility of a vote by the end of July, before the month-long August recess.

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policy

A white paper calls for a stop to impending cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments and recommends modernizing existing DSH policy.

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policy

The plan would reduce funding for social and entitlement programs for low-income Americans by $1.7 trillion, including a $610 billion cut to Medicaid.

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policy

Senate Republicans stay focused on a strategy to repeal and replace the ACA; committees hold hearings on public health, Medicare, and chronic conditions.

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policy

A 13-member Senate working group made up of conservative and moderate Republicans now begins to craft its own version of the legislation.

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policy

Three new amendments garnered enough Republican support to pass the bill in a 217-213 vote; CBO has not scored the bill since the amendments were added.

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The bill the House approved today would leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured and reduce benefits and increase costs for millions more - including the sick.

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The amendment to increase funding for American Health Care Act high-risk pools applies a bandage to a mortally wounded patient and changes in no material way the harm this bill would cause.

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policy

Rep. MacArthur (R-NJ) proposed an amendment to the AHCA that would have allowed states to opt out of several important insurance regulations.

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The bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act supports our nation’s teaching hospitals and the next generation of health care professionals.

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policy

A vote on the bipartisan bill could come Wednesday in the House, followed by Senate consideration before continuing resolution appropriations expire Friday.

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Attempts to revive the American Health Care Act with changes that make a deeply damaging bill even worse are misguided and disappointing.

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policy

Lawmakers face an extensive agenda of legislative priorities, including health care and tax reform, and most urgent, a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown.

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policy

When lawmakers return, they could attempt to make additional changes to pass the American Health Care Act, legislation to repeal and replace the ACA.

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policy

Talks of a deal to resurrect the American Health Care Act — legislation to repeal and replace the ACA that was pulled in March — are underway.

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policy

House GOP leadership pulled the bill due to inadequate support; the association now resumes its focus on other hospital-related issues, including DSH cuts.

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policy

The American Health Care Act's Medicaid cuts would fall heavily on low-income states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, testified at an event held by House Democrats on the Republican-proposed bill to repeal the ACA.

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policy

The replacement plan would make steep cuts to Medicaid and leave an estimated 24 million more people uninsured, compared with current law under the ACA.

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webinar

With the surprising and abrupt death of the American Health Care Act, the federal health policy landscape has shifted. We discussed the association’s top advocacy goals as Congress picks up the pieces.

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policy

The American Health Care Act moves next to the House Committee on the Budget, which is scheduled to mark up the legislation on Thursday.

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America's Essential Hospitals recognizes the new CMS administrator for her experience with health care for low-income and other vulnerable people and helping states tailor Medicaid to meet specific program and policy goals.

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America's Essential Hospitals says the Congressional Budget Office analysis of coverage losses under the American Health Care Act underscores the urgent need for Congress to rethink its strategy on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The committees on Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means passed ACA repeal and replacement bills that could affect coverage and essential hospital funding.

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policy

The House committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means this week released their long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace the ACA.

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While the House bill would bring welcome relief from damaging cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, the association remains deeply concerned about provisions to end Medicaid expansion and impose per-capita caps on the program.

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policy

Draft GOP text for legislation to repeal and replace the ACA leaks; a Senate committee is poised to vote on the administration's CMS administrator nominee.

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policy

Whether you join us or support the fight from home, urge lawmakers to ensure continued coverage access and stable, equitable, sustainable Medicaid funding.

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policy

A leaked House GOP plan to repeal & replace the ACA raises concerns for essential hospitals. A Senate committee considered nominee Seema Verma to lead CMS.

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policy

Former Rep. Tom Price was confirmed as secretary of HHS; the Senate Committee on Finance will consider the nomination of Seema Verma as CMS administrator.

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America's Essential Hospitals tells the newly confirmed Secretary Price that it looks forward to working with him to ensure essential hospitals can sustain their commitment to vulnerable patients and underserved communities.

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policy

A House subcommittee marked up two bills focused on income eligibility for Medicaid. The association weighed in on a hearing about the individual mandate.

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policy

No agreements have been reached about a repeal/replacement plan for the ACA and it appears Republicans in both chambers are far from making final decisions.

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webinar

Attendees heard about the current status of health care legislation, including efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The second confirmation hearing was held for Rep. Price as HHS secretary and a House subcommittee held a hearing on the individual mandate's effectiveness.

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policy

With House and Senate passage of budget resolutions, efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act now move to committees and toward a Jan. 27 deadline for repeal legislation.

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policy

Debate and amendment votes in the Senate are expected though the weekend. The Senate measure then will go to the House for consideration.

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policy

Essential hospitals can expect the new Congress' Republican leaders to follow through quickly with their pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes the historic risk adjustment provision and also provides partial relief to hospitals from cuts to off-campus outpatient department payments.

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policy

Lawmakers approve funding for the federal government through April 28, 2017, and pass legislation that includes two key advocacy wins for essential hospitals: socioeconomic risk adjustment and partial relief from outpatient department payment cuts.

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policy

Essential hospitals should be equipped with key information to understand this procedural tool that likely will be used early next year to begin the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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With their vote, senators have helped level the playing field for essential hospitals by risk adjusting readmissions measures that unfairly penalize hospitals for factors outside their control.

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policy

Congress plans to vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government running past Dec. 9. The Senate is expected to pass 21st Century Cures legislation.

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webinar

In this webinar we looked back at the 2016 advocacy landscape, discussed the progress we have made on key issues affecting essential hospitals, reviewed our interaction with the Trump transition team, and looked forward to 2017. Webinar Recording

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Essential hospitals thank House lawmakers for voting to protect access to health care services for vulnerable patients and underserved communities by accounting for patients' social and economic status in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

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policy

Congress is poised to pass legislation that would include socioeconomic risk adjustment for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and some relief from payment cuts for new hospital outpatient departments.

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policy

Lawmakers are closing in on negotiations for 21st Century Cures legislation and also working to complete a short-term continuing resolution to fund the federal government through March 2017.

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policy

The impending full control of government by Republicans is expected to kick start discussions about repealing the Affordable Care Act and passing entitlement reform.

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The association calls on the new administration to sustain support for the safety net and reject changes that reduce spending at the expense of coverage and access.

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policy

On Sept. 27, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, which would have allowed it to move to final passage of the continuing resolution.

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policy

At stake is funding to combat the Zika virus, among several other policy issues that have kept the measure from moving forward.

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policy

While details are still being finalized, a continuing resolution to fund the government through early December likely will include funding to combat Zika.

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policy

Congress seems likely to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30. Lawmakers also are expected to approve funding to combat Zika.

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policy

A webinar and new election toolkit from America's Essential Hospitals can help to make sure hospitals' voices are heard this congressional election season.

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webinar

Learn how to make your issues count and how to get candidates to listen leading into the November election.

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policy

When Congress resumes, it will race to pass legislation to keep the government running beyond Sept. 30.

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policy

This week, the Senate votes on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Last week, the House passed a mental health bill in a bipartisan vote.

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policy

To avoid a government shutdown, Congress might have to pass an omnibus appropriations measure if lawmakers fail to reach spending agreements by Sept. 30.

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policy

The Senate rejected a $1.1 billion Zika funding package, and Patrick Conway, with CMS, testified about the proposed Medicare Part B demonstration project.

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policy

Senate appropriators pass HHS spending bill that includes 340B Drug Pricing Program user fee and instructions to HRSA to consider stakeholder input in final mega-guidance.

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policy

The legislation would incorporate risk adjustment for socioeconomic status into Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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policy

Lawmakers are expected to have a busy June that also could include agreement among House and Senate leaders on funding to combat Zika.

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policy

Panel approves bill that would add socioeconomic risk adjustment to Medicare's readmissions reduction program and avert some cuts to hospital outpatient departments.

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policy

The House and Senate are expected to vote on Zika spending. In other activity, opioid measure are set to go to conference and committees review Part B payment model and tax-related health proposals.

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policy

The House is expected to vote on several opioid-related measures, and 19 House Democrats sent CMS a letter of support for the Medicare Part B demonstration to reduce drug costs.

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policy

Lawmakers are in recess this week following failure of the House to pass a bipartisan budget resolution. Last week, House and Senate committees tackled opioids, disparities, and mental health.

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policy

Lawmakers continue negotiations to respond to the president’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency funding. Also this week, an expert from association member The University of Chicago Medicine will participate in a Capitol Hill forum on minority health disparities.

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policy

Lawmakers say star ratings fail to consider patients' socioeconomic status and could mislead consumers. House, Senate also work on appropriations legislation, Zika, Flint water crisis, and health tax.

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policy

HELP Committee finishes work on package of 19 bills, designed to complement the House-passed 21st Century Cures measure. The House is in recess this week.

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policy

House Republicans might not have the votes to pass their budget resolution before a two-week congressional recess. House committees take up opioids and medical liability and the Senate HELP committee continues work on its 21st Century Cures companion legislation.

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policy

House Committee on Energy and Commerce approves legislation that would cut provider taxes, repeal enhanced FMAP for prisoners and CHIP, and end ACA Prevention and Public Health Fund.

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policy

FDA official notes "urgent need” to accelerate development of medical products to combat the virus and says the agency will “leverage its authorities" to aid that process.

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policy

Nonpartisan PAC would support congressional candidates who champion policies that improve access to the high-quality health care essential hospitals provide.

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policy

Association responds to House lawmakers' request for comment on Medicare's new payment policy for off-campus hospital outpatient departments. Congress works on FY 2017 budget, holds hearings on Zika virus and opiod abuse.

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policy

Partisan politics follow Scalia death; House speaker to table entitlement reform until next year; congressional panels to hold hearings on HHS budget, opiod abuse, Zika virus.

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policy

Budget plan would improve Medicaid access and coverage and tackle drug pricing, but make damaging Medicare cuts; lawmakers examine Medicaid housing coverage, FMAP, 21st Century Cures, mental health.

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policy

House, Senate panels to examine rising cost of drugs, lack of transparency in the drug price negotiation process, and barriers to generic drug applications.

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policy

Senate Judiciary examines heroin and prescription drug abuse; Winter Storm Jonas delays scheduled House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on Medicaid FMAP

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals and two members systems host congressional staff for round-table discussions about how proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program guidance threatens vulnerable patients and essential hospitals.

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policy

March 8 to 9 event, in Washington, DC, offers opportunities to meet with your congressional delegation and network with other hospital leaders; book a room by Feb. 12 for special conference rate.

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policy

Obama touts ACA successes in final address, calls for ongoing support of Medicare, Social Security. House Speaker Ryan prepares ACA replacement plan as GOP continues repeal efforts; Califf wins Senate HELP vote.

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policy

House returns from recess for largely symbolic vote on Senate-passed reconciliation bill that would repeal many ACA provisions, including Medicaid expansion; Senate remains out.

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policy

House and Senate lawmakers negotiate omnibus appropriations bill and two-year extension of tax cuts, but fail to provide relief on new Medicare site-neutral payment policy for hospital outpatient departments.

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policy

Congress returns from Thanksgiving recess to must-pass bills on highway funding and appropriations; Senate leaders work on reconciliation package ahead of Dec. 11 appropriations vote.

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policy

Congressional staff continue negotiating omnibus appropriations package, which is expected to go to a vote by Dec. 11; Sen. Wyden asks HHS for update on progress of state 1332 waivers.

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policy

Letter from Senate Finance Committee leaders asks America's Essential Hospitals, other stakeholders, for comment on Medicaid transparency, quality, accountability

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policy

Senate plans to expand House reconciliation bill with full ACA repeal; Rep. Brady named Ways and Means chair; Republicans establish Medicaid task force.

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policy

President signs budget deal that reduces payment to new hospital outpatient facilities; Ryan becomes House speaker; Energy and Commerce Committee considers Medicaid supplemental payment oversight bills

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policy

The House proposes a budget deal with potentially damaging changes for essential hospitals - the association is fighting these. Paul Ryan expected to be the next speaker of the House. The Senate HELP committee examines mental health.

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policy

Letter to congressional leaders, signed by more than 100 hospital executives, calls for passage of bills to adjust Medicare readmissions program for socioeconomic status

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policy

House Budget Committee clears reconciliation bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year and make substantial changes to the Affordable Care Act. Outlook remains unclear for choice of next House speaker.

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policy

The House Republican vote for speaker will be held on Thursday, other leadership races postponed until later this month. Full House vote for speaker expected in Nov. Budget reconciliation efforts continue.

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policy

Congress will vote to pass legislation to avoid a government shutdown. Meanwhile, House committees are also working to pass budget reconciliation measures that would defund Planned Parenthood and make major changes to the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The briefing included a panel of four experts serving different Medicaid populations who spoke about continuing to strengthen the program and the role of Medicaid expansion in increasing access to care.

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policy

This week congressional action is slow as lawmakers prepare for the papal visit. With a government shutdown only days away, lawmakers work to reach funding negotiations amid Planned Parenthood debate.

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policy

Planned Parenthood controversy continues to influence federal funding negotiations. Health insurer and hospital mergers are reviewed. Plus, committees consider abortion, Medicaid, HIT, and biosimilar drugs.

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policy

Planned Parenthood remains an issue in government funding. Congress considers hospital bills, Medicare Part B premiums, medical innovation, health care competition, and Medicaid fraud and abuse, vows to focus on mental health.

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policy

The hospital-related NOTICE Act was sent to the president last week. An ACA repeal vote remains likely for fall along with the potential for a government shutdown.

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policy

Nearly 200, including America's Essential Hospitals, sign Partnership for Medicaid letter to the president and Congress praising Medicaid on the program's 50th anniversary.

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policy

Panelists from across the membership asked Congress to ensure the sustainability of telehealth through payment parity for telehealth services.

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policy

The Senate fails to repeal the ACA but will keep trying. Committees discuss HHS priorities and health care bills, including a bundle of hospital-related bills.

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policy

Sen. Grassley requested a hearing on recent 340B GAO report. House calls and clinical trials for Medicare patients each pass one chamber. Committees review Medicare hospital payments, HIT, and marketplaces.

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policy

Last week the House passed 21st Century Cures legislation with strong bipartisan support. Congressional committees are reviewing Medicare Part D, deadly diseases and HealthCare.gov.

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America's Essential Hospitals applauds choice, calls on Senate to confirm her.

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America's Essential Hospitals urges Senate to quickly confirm Slavitt as CMS administrator.

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policy

GOP will weigh procedural tactics to repeal the ACA or propose tax reform; House vote on Cures bill expected.

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policy

Republicans will also continue to develop a strategy for undoing the ACA in light of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the law last week.

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policy

The House will vote to repeal two major ACA provisions this week - medical device tax and the IPAB - and consider four Medicare Advantage bills. Health committees are reviewing mental health and HIT.

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policy

A total of $3.3 billion is marked for CMS, which is about $344 million below current funding. The subcommittee will consider the bill tomorrow.

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policy

The House could vote on 21st Century Cures legislation as early as next week, health committees focus on 9/11 compensation and health information exchange.

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policy

Parts of the Cures package will now likely go to other House committees for review. The Senate will discuss NSA surveillance after recess.

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policy

We are pleased to see that this amendment was not included in the Cures package and look forward to working with lawmakers to strengthen the 340B program in the future.

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We look forward to working with the committee and others in Congress as they seek to strengthen this valuable program and provide other support for those in need.

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Association urges committee to reject inclusion of 340B program changes in 21st Century Cures bill

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policy

It remains unclear what 340B Drug Pricing Program provisions could be included in the legislation.

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policy

The Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on 21st Century Cures Wednesday, possibly including an amendment that would make changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals is pleased that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is working collaboratively with stakeholders on the proposal.

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policy

House votes on defense and late-term abortions, while the Senate votes on the trade bill, faces pharma pressure on biologics. Health committees review 21st Century Cures and Medicare patients' chronic conditions.

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policy

The Senate takes up the House-passed budget resolution. Both the House and Senate are focused on medical innovation as the next major health push.

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policy

Congress plans for a final vote on a FY 2016 budget resolution, and House and Senate committees will review medical innovation initiatives.

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policy

The law also delays Medicaid DSH payment cuts for an additional year - until fiscal year 2018 - and extends CHIP funding for two years.

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Association praises Congress and the administration for replacing broken SGR, delaying DSH cuts an additional year, and extending CHIP funding

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policy

Congress will consider SGR legislation and a final budget resolution. Health committees will hold hearings on medical device tax, post acute care, Medicare appeals and audits, and the Affordable Care Act.

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policy

The Senate will vote on the SGR measure after a two-week recess. Both chambers also passed budget legislation before adjourning.

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Essential Insights

For now, lawmakers focused on information gathering, better oversight, clarity, and accountability

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policy

DSH cuts would be eliminated in FY 2017, and DSH would be "rebased," extending cuts by one year, to 2025.

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policy

Congress will attempt to pass SGR and budget legislation by Friday. The SGR package includes a one-year delay of Medicaid DSH cuts. House Committees will hold hearings on 340B, heroin and prescription drug abuse, and Medicare Fraud. The Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on patient research.

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policy

Contact your lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees to underscore the critical need for the 340B program. An update on the SGR package will be provided as more information is available.

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policy

The House's bipartisan bill will face a tough road in the Senate. Budget negotiations are also under way, to be completed this month.

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals supports legislation, which seeks to ensure hospitals are not unfairly penalized for patients' sociodemographic challenges

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policy

Senate HELP Committee to examine changes that could improve FDA process without compromising safety

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policy

Commentary argues to keep program savings with essential hospitals to benefit low-income patients and entire communities

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals reviews Republican plan, which would join two Democratic bills now under consideration

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Essential Insights

What are we doing to demonstrate support for ACA insurance coverage subsidies? We filed and amicas brief for King v. Burwell affirming the position. Here's what we said and why.

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policy

Also under consideration is legislation addressing human trafficking, immigration, and border security

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policy

Obama delivers annual address; House considers an abortion ban, natural gas permits, and SGR; and Senate considers the Keystone Pipeline and definition of full time.

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policy

Congress meets this week to pass Keystone Pipeline legislation and Homeland Security funding, considers immigration and veterans' mental health.

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policy

Congress convenes with a new Republican majority in the Senate. The House will vote on the ACA 40-hour work week, veterans legislation and the Keystone pipeline. The Senate will elect committee chairs.

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policy

Final spending agreement averts government closure, but leaves some Democrats upset over easing of Wall Street regulation and school lunch health requirements

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Essential Insights

Top issues include protecting Medicaid and Medicare from cuts, protecting the 340B program, and risk adjusting quality incentive program measures

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policy

Legislation includes provisions on Ebola response funding, 340B Drug Pricing Program, children's hospital GME, and Health Centers Program

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policy

Congress must past spending legislation before Dec. 11, governors request CHIP funding extension, Cassidy defeats Landrieu.

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policy

Congress works to finalize several measures, including an omnibus spending package to extend federal funding. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will review CHIP.

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policy

Impact of president's recent action on immigration could complicate congressional passage of FY 2015 spending bill; leadership changes progress for key health committees in House, Senate

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policy

With health care activity quiet, incoming House freshman orientation is under way, and Ebola hearings in both chambers continue.

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policy

Lame duck session starts this week, will cover federal funding legislation, which may include funding for Ebola and defense. Association testified on behalf of its members regarding Ebola.

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policy

After eight years in the Senate minority, Republicans will take control of the chamber in 2015, with at least 52 seats. The elections also resulted in at least 61 new members being elected to Congress, providing a valuable opportunity for essential hospitals to educate new lawmakers.

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policy

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce called members back from recess for a hearing to assess the U.S. public health response to Ebola.

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policy

While Congress is in recess, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing addressing the U.S. public health response to Ebola. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, and other U.S. public health officials will testify.

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webinar

Review the results and impact of the 2014 midterm elections, and share strategies on preparing for the 114th Congress.

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policy

This week, Congress will likely consider a CR, allowing non-ACA-compliant group health insurance plans through 2018, extending the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program, and several health-related items.

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policy

The association sent a support letter to House Energy and Commerce ranking members commending their effort to extend CHIP through FY 2019. The proposed legislation would also extend Medicaid primary care payments and bolster quality measures.

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policy

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations called an emergency hearing to address the Ebola outbreak, including the capacity to contain it in the United States.

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policy

The House and Senate head into August recess after voting to clear a VA assistance bill, sending it to the president on Friday. The Senate couldn't pass border emergency supplemental legislation, while the House passed a less expensive version. CMS faced tough criticism from Republicans about HealthCare.gov contractors.

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policy

These members of Congress went on record supporting the 340B Drug Pricing Program and the patients it benefits.

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policy

This year’s congressional races will set the tone for policy discussions that could impact our nation’s essential hospitals. America’s Essential Hospitals 2014 Election Advocacy Toolkit contains resources to support your work to engage congressional candidates this election season.

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policy

Congress considers Veteran Affairs, Medicare, and immigration bills as August recess nears; House holds hearing on state Medicaid funding.

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Essential Insights

Sixteen members of America's Essential Hospitals from across the Southeast met for our Regional Strategy Meeting that covered direct lobbying, effective communication, and citizen advocacy.

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webinar

Learn valuable strategies for engaging your congressional candidates this election season

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policy

House Republicans continue negotiations on President Obama's request for emergency supplemental funding to address the influx of undocumented minors. The Senate HELP committee will be marking up eight bills, including the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act.

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policy

House GOP will move forward with a lawsuit against President Obama on the delay of the employer mandate without congressional approval. Energy and Commerce is marking up a variety of bills and holding hearings on the health insurance marketplaces and anthrax.

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policy

Congress returns to session focused on improving access in the VA health care system. The Senate Appropriations Committee will review the president's request for funding to contain illegal immigration of minors, and House committees will look at 21st Century Cures and Medicare reforms.

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policy

Congress is on recess for July 4th. Last week leaders in the Finance and Ways and Means committees introduced the IMPACT Act regarding postacute care in Medicare. Energy and Commerce held hearings on Medicare program integrity and digital health's impact on 21st century cures.

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policy

The bill would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider socioeconomic status of hospital patient populations in its calculation of penalties under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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policy

House GOP Leadership elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as majority leader and Rep. Steve Scalise as Whip. This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold two health care related hearings, one on their 21st Century Cures initiative and the second on Medicare program integrity.

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policy

The Labor/HHS appropriations bill vote was cancelled due to Republican threats to derail the process over ACA funding. House Majority Leader Cantor's loss has House Republicans vying for his seat. MedPAC shares its biannual report to Congress on Wednesday.

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policy

CHIP funding will expire in FY 2016. Sen. Rockefeller introduced legislation last week to extend funding through FY 2019, which the association supports.

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policy

The letter addresses the unintended consequences for essential hospitals of the current readmissions penalty methodology and asks federal agencies to work with Congress.

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals submitted public comments to the Ways and Means committee regarding Medicare hospital payment issues, including the two-midnight rule, short inpatient stays, and RAC auditing, addressed in a committee hearing in May.

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policy

The Senate will vote on HHS secretary nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell and the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee begins to work on legislation regarding the VA health care system.

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policy

The House and Senate vary recesses. Finance Committee approves HHS secretary nominee Sylvia Matthews Burwell. The Senate is expected to vote on her nomination in early June. Congress continues to scrutinize the scandal around several Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

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policy

The Ways and Means Committee reviewed hospital issues as part of the Medicare Program. Two Louisiana delegates urged CMS to accept nonprofit-provided premium assistance. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing featuring Secretary Shinseki.

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policy

The yearlong investigation of the federal government's spending and resources on mental health issues. The report found that individuals with the most severe conditions are less likely to receive treatment for their illness. The investigation was led by Rep. Tim Murphy, chair of the committee's Oversight Subcommittee.

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policy

The Senate will consider tax extenders legislation. The Senate Finance Committee will hold the current Director of OMB Sylvia Matthews Burwell's confirmation hearing to be the next HHS secretary on Thursday, and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will investigate the recent allegations of delayed care at VA hospitals.

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policy

Congress will begin the appropriations process, but not much is expected to be accomplished since it is an election year. Senate Democrats will bring up a bill to increase the minimum wage but expect Republican resistance. The House will reconsider a bill regarding exemption of expatriate health plans under the ACA.

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policy

The funding authorization for CHIP is set to expire in October 2015. The Partnership for Medicaid urged Congress to protect CHIP funding, which will support coverage for an estimated 12.7 million children in 2015.

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Essential Insights

Staff from our members held 100 meetings with their senators and representatives to discuss what defines an essential hospital and the key issues facing essential hospitals. Issues included: protecting essential hospital payments, ensuring essential hospitals are included in marketplace health insurance plan networks, and preserving support for training future clinicians at essential hospitals.

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policy

The plan would partially privatize Medicare and turn Medicaid into state block grants. It also repeals the ACA.

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policy

Association members explained what makes an essential hospital and the key issues facing essential hospitals to their policymakers on the Hill. The event also included reflections from senior Capitol Hill and administration staff and two award ceremonies that recognized members of Congress and congressional staff for their commitment to essential hospitals.

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Christine Capito Burch awards, named for association's former executive director, recognize congressional staff who have demonstrated health care expertise and a commitment to vulnerable patients and essential hospitals.

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Awards by America's Essential Hospitals recognize congressional lawmakers who have worked or trained in member institutions and demonstrate leadership on Capitol Hill for vulnerable patients and essential hospitals.

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policy

The bill replaces the SGR with a sensible physician payment system, ensures the continuation of health policies that help low-income patients access health care, and mandates an annual report on Medicaid DSH payments. The association notes that it would not support any methods of paying for the legislation that would "damage access to and quality of care..."

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Essential Insights

Recently, a prominent Member of Congress announced that he would forgo health insurance coverage. While he does so in an effort to protect individual liberty, the ultimate cost of choosing to go insured is borne by the rest of us - taxpayers and the insured alike.

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policy

Legislation expected next week from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) would help ensure Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program does not unfairly penalize hospitals that care for vulnerable patients. The association offered support for the bill, which would protect hospitals whose patients might experience higher readmission rates due to socioeconomic conditions.

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policy

The legislation would extend the partial enforcement delay of the two-midnight policy and require CMS to develop new criteria for inpatient stays that last fewer than two midnights. Association President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, said, "It's vitally important that we get this policy right so that we don't inadvertently destabilize hospitals that care for the vulnerable."

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policy

Medicare GME and IME cuts, bad debt cuts, and Medicaid DSH rebasing are included in the proposal. The association will continue to follow these concerning issues closely.

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Essential Insights

We will continue to fight for changes to the Medicaid DSH cuts that are scheduled to begin in FY 2016. At the same time, we will take action on other issues that are important for essential hospitals, including ensuring marketplace health insurance plan network adequacy and protecting vital hospital funding.

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policy

Congress has increased the debt limit but did not patch the Medicare physician payment system, as physician groups want a full repeal rather than a temporary fix. The Senate Finance Committee has a new chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wyden assumed the position after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) left to serve as ambassador to China.

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policy

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced a consensus bill to repeal the Medicare physician payment system. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) have each begun campaigning to take over Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) role as ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing to examine drug shortages.

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policy

Republican House leaders are working on a proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on the risk corridors provision in the ACA. Last week, House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member and Former Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) announced he would retire at the end of his term this fall.

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policy

The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with market-based reforms. The plan would keep some ACA provisions. The proposal would end the individual mandate and offer tax credits for individuals unable to afford coverage.

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policy

America’s Essential Hospitals urged Congress to oppose this proposal

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policy

The event will begin with lunch Tuesday, April 1, and conclude with a full day of lobbying, Wednesday, April 2

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policy

Bill includes provisions to fund the ACA, House held healthcare.gov hearings

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policy

Jan. 13 letter urges Congress to oppose Senate proposal to cut Medicare funding to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits

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policy

Subcommittee considered necessity, effectiveness of temporary extenders

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policy

Key staff indicated total cost of all extenders could be more than $200 billion

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policy

House passed “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” Senate considered similar bills

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policy

Congress holds healthcare.gov hearings, planned vote on "Keep Your Health Plan" Act

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policy

America's Essential Hospitals cautions against paying for SGR provision with cuts to hospitals

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policy

Congress holds healthcare.gov hearings, committee met on budget agreement

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policy

Oct. 28 letter notes that hospitals have faced more than $95 billion in cuts over the past three years

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policy

Congress narrowly avoids reaching the debt ceiling, gears up for healthcare.gov hearings

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policy

Senate reached a deal to end the federal government shutdown

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policy

Lawmakers negotiated potential plans to raise the debt limit

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policy

Held nearly 100 meetings, educated Congress about work to ensure patient access to high quality care

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policy

Congressional leaders stalled on debt limit agreement

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policy

House abandoned plans to vote on a bill to extend the continuing resolution

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policy

Committee to review groups’ activities, budget, employees and training, and other issues

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policy

Event Oct. 1 and 2 to conclude with full-day of Capitol Hill visits

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policy

Registration open for America’s Essential Hospitals’ Fall Legislative Event, Oct. 1 to 2

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policy

Letter suggests security could be compromised by missed IT system deadlines

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policy

Oct. 1 to 2 event to include presentations by legislative experts, visits to Hill offices

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policy

House votes to bar IRS from implementing Affordable Care Act and collecting taxes to fund the law

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policy

ACA hearings focus on health insurance exchange implementation and employer mandate delay

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policy

Gang of Eight meets with 50 business lobbyists to encourage pressure on House to pass immigration measure

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policy

On law's 20th anniversary, members of Congress say law helps reduce drug costs for hundreds of hospital

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policy

House Republican leaders to meet July 10 to discuss whether to take steps toward immigration bill

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Notes new administrator's distinguished career in health care, experience with hospitals and health systems

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Renews call for Congress to delay Medicaid DSH cuts to allow time for informed, rational funding discussions

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policy

Plan outlines options for states to adopt delivery system reforms

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Says measure would direct much-needed funding toward services for mentally ill and entire communities

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Calls decision to keep Medicaid off table in budget negotiations "welcome news" for the millions

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Cautions against more cuts that will harm access to care and shift costs to states, local governments, and taxpayers

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policy

Senate passed legislation by a vote of 89-9, sent for vote in the House of Representatives

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Says agreement averts severe economic hardships for nation, but puts essential health care for millions at risk

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Groups say limiting crucial funding stream will shift costs onto states and hurt patients, providers

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Cuts will cause significant harm to core government functions, including protecting the public's safety and health

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Notes that more than 40 states use taxes to fund, maintain stable, functioning Medicaid programs

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Association urges Congress to reject proposed $770 billion cut to Medicaid spending over 10 years

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