Partial Snow Day, Partial Shut Down?
Much of the federal government is closed today because of yesterday’s significant (for DC) and unexpected snowfall. However, part of the federal government is set to shut down this Friday, January 19, so Congress is still on the clock.
Congressional leaders released a plan over the weekend to continue the laddered approach to extending government funding. If this continuing resolution (CR) is finalized, the January 19 deadline would be pushed to March 1, and the February 2 deadline would move to March 8. The healthcare extenders are attached to the second deadline of March 8.
The House Rules Committee includes several hardline conservative members who likely will not approve another stopgap CR. This suggests that the extension will not go through the committee, but instead may pass under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority (290 votes), meaning participation from both Republicans and Democrats. The CR is not expected to address the highly contested 3.37% Medicare cut to physician payment that went into effect on January 1 (but may be reversed or adjusted), multiple expired health programs, House-passed price transparency legislation, mental health policies or pharmacy benefit manager reforms (discussed in last week’s Preview).
On the committee front, so far there is only one healthcare-related hearing: the Senate HELP Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss long COVID. In the administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a notice of funding opportunity for the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity and Development (AHEAD) Model. CMS will host an Office Hours session on Wednesday to answer questions in advance of the March 18 application submission deadline. AHEAD is a state total-cost-of-care model designed to drive state and regional healthcare transformation and multi-payer alignment, with the goal of improving the total health of a state population and lowering costs.
Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock join Priya Rathakrishnan to discuss what seems to be an eerily familiar state of affairs in Congress as it relates to the upcoming government funding deadline.