Work Before July 4 Recess
This is the last week before Congress heads out for a two-week July 4 recess, and appropriations work in Congress is ramping up.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold its first full committee markup of FY 2024 spending bills on Thursday. The Senate is expected to have higher spending levels than what is expected in the House. In particular, the House is looking to set caps much lower than the agreed-upon limits that were in the debt limit, and instead is opting to use the limits as the ceiling of what can be spent, as opposed to a floor. This divergence between the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee puts Congress on a path towards more conflict before eventual compromise. The path will be long and winding, as we will likely be in the midst of the appropriations process for the rest of this fiscal year, and hopefully it will not result in a government shutdown come the end of the September.
However, there is still significant committee activity relating to healthcare.
This week, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on addressing substance use disorder and looking to reauthorize provisions in the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, which marks its five-year anniversary this year. The SUPPORT Act is comprehensive bipartisan legislation to address substance use disorder treatment, prevention and recovery, and is particularly focused on Medicaid’s role in helping states address this crisis.
The House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will conduct a hearing to review challenges implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The House Education & Workforce Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee will hold a hearing continuing the focus on competition and transparency in the healthcare market. The House Rules Committee will meet to consider the CHOICE Arrangement Act, a bill on health reimbursement arrangements being integrated with individual health insurance coverage. There are no direct healthcare-related hearings in the Senate this week, but we continue to monitor the potential for a healthcare-related legislative package to come together prior to the August recess.