This week in Washington: CMS Administrator confirmed, President releases budget.

Brooks-LaSure Confirmed as CMS Administrator
On May 25, the Senate voted 55-44 to confirm Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator. Brooks-LaSure’s nomination process had been delayed after Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed his opposition to CMS’s decision last month to revoke a 10-year extension of a Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver. Brooks-LaSure will be the first Black woman to lead CMS, and previously worked at CMS under the Obama administration.

Senate HELP Committee Advances Bipartisan Bills
On May 25, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted unanimously to pass six health bills out of committee. The bills are listed below.

  • S. 1675, Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act
  • S. 1491, Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services Act
  • S. 1662, Supporting the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration Act
  • S. 1301, Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act
  • S. 610, Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act
  • S. 1658, Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act

Senate Republicans Propose Alternative Infrastructure Plan
On May 27, Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and John Barrasso (R-WY) proposed a $928 billion infrastructure plan as an alternative to President Biden’s $1.7 trillion American Jobs Plan. The Republican plan does not include funds for caregiving infrastructure investments, as Republican senators have stated they want a plan that solely addresses physical infrastructure.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.