This Week in Washington: Fighting over how to proceed on the debt limit; Congress still finalizing committee assignments



Reps. Lee, DeGette, Pressley and Schakowsky Introduce the Ensuring Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act

On Jan. 26, Reps. Lee (D-CA), DeGette (D-CO), Pressley (D-MA) and Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Ensuring Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act. The bill reverses the restrictions placed by the Hyde Amendment on Medicaid and federal health insurance coverage of abortion.

Reps. Carter and Blunt Rochester Introduce Bipartisan Essential Medicines Strategic Stockpile Act

On Jan. 23, Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) introduced the Essential Medicines Strategic Stockpile Act. The bill seeks to strengthen U.S. generic drug stockpiles to prevent drug shortages during public health emergencies and decrease U.S. dependence on foreign pharmaceutical markets. The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to select 50 drugs to include in the stockpile, keep an updated list of the drugs and make the list publicly available.


Sens. Barrasso, Tester, Daines and Hickenlooper Issue Letter to CMS Regarding Nursing Home Staffing Mandates

On Jan. 20, Sens. Barrasso (R-WY), Tester (D-MT), Daines (R-MT) and Hickenlooper (D-CO) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expressing their concerns over CMS’ intent to issue new nursing home staffing mandates. The senators are concerned that new nursing home staffing mandates would adversely impact nursing homes in rural areas. The senators are urging CMS to consider proposals to address the staffing and operational challenges experienced by nursing homes in rural, underserved areas.

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