House Committee on the Budget: “Department of Health and Human Services FY2020 Budget”
Tuesday, March 26, 2019: The House Committee on the Budget held a hearing examining the proposed FY2020 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with Deputy Secretary of HHS Eric Hargan. Find a link to witness testimonies, member statements and the hearing live feed here.
Why this is important: The House Budget Committee hosted the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan for a budget hearing. Hargan argued that HHS had the largest discretionary budget in the country behind defense in 2018, making prioritization necessary. Some of the priorities of the proposed budget include budget reforms for patient-centered health care, access to affordable prescription drugs and a value-based payment system for outpatient and ambulatory services. Democratic members of the committee noted that the budget calls for a $291 million investment in HIV/AIDS, but a $769 million cut to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is responsible for most of the research on this disease. The budget also calls for an additional $50 million for pediatric cancer but cuts the National Cancer Institute by $897 million.
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP): “Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: Making Electronic Health Information Available to Patients and Providers”
Tuesday, March 26, 2019: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on making electronic health information available to patients and providers, a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act. Find a link to witness testimonies, member statements and the hearing live feed here.
Why this is important: The chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), backed new federal regulations to remove roadblocks patients can face in obtaining copies of their electronic medical records. He argued the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) removes barriers and makes it easier for patients to more quickly access, use and understand their personal medical information. The committee expressed some concern that the use of electronic health information could be moving too fast, and could cause a privacy and security issue. While witnesses supported the rules as a step in the right direction for industry, Dr. Christopher Rehm, chief medical informatics officer of LifePoint Health, argued a major remaining problem in electronic medical is the lack of interoperability across rival data systems.
House Committee on Energy and Commerce: “Health Subcommittee Bill Markup”
Wednesday, March 27, 2019: The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a markup for 12 pieces of legislation related to pre-existing conditions, Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections, protecting against short-term or associated health plans and the rising cost of prescription drugs. All 12 bills were forwarded to the full committee, and no amendments introduced by Republicans during debates received approval. Find a link to the full markup here. Find a full summary of the markup and corresponding legislation here.
Senate Committee on the Budget: “Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Resolution – Day 1”
Wednesday, March 27, 2019: The Senate Committee on the Budget held a two-part markup to consider the FY2020 Budget Resolution. The first day consisted primarily of opening statements. Find a link to witness testimonies, member statements and the hearing live feed here.
Senate Committee on the Budget: “Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Resolution – Day 2”
Thursday, March 28, 2019: This was the second part of the Senate Committee on the Budget’s two-part markup to consider the FY2020 Budget Resolution. The second part of the hearing includes the consideration of amendments. Find a link to witness testimonies, member statements and the hearing live feed here.
Why this is important: The Senate Budget Committee approved the proposed budget resolution that would allow for spending cuts by reducing both defense and nondefense spending for 2020. The resolution advanced in an 11-8 vote. There is no guarantee that the resolution will be considered by the full Senate or that the House will consider a budget resolution. Find a summary of the resolution here.
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