Government Funding Ends This Friday
Congress is running out of time to address the December 16 expiration of the continuing resolution. While some reports indicate that there is no deal on topline government funding numbers for fiscal year 2023, Democrats did step away from a plan to announce their own overview of an omnibus package, indicating some behind-the-scenes progress. Expect Congress to consider a short-term continuing resolution this week to provide more time to compromise and finalize end-of-the-year priorities.
This timeline does not leave much time to work on lame duck policies. In the healthcare space, several items still need to get done this year, including addressing Medicaid funding in the territories; the Medicare PAYGO 4% cut; the Medicare Low-Volume Payment Adjustment; the Medicare-Dependent Hospital Program; and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Stakeholders also want Congress to address several other priorities in lame duck, including mental health, telehealth and Medicare payment adjustments.
One policy that does appear likely to be included in an end-of-the-year package is the Verifying Accurate Leading-edge IVCT Development (VALID) Act of 2021. The VALID Act would create a new regulatory framework for the review and approval of diagnostic tests to accelerate the development of new technologies, and has been worked on for many years. It was dropped from the User Fee Act earlier this year. Last week brought revised bill language as key parties appeared to reach agreement on policy changes needed for the bill to move forward. That is a good step toward getting it into the end-of-the year package.