Infrastructure and Reconciliation Completed This Week?
The Multi-Trillion Dollar Question. House Democrats are trying to pass both the reconciliation bill (i.e., the Build Back Better Act) and the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of the week. Democrats made significant progress last week with the release of the Rules Committee text of the Build Back Better Act. The text included substantial changes from the previous House Committees’ version. These included: the removal of the Medicare dental and vision benefits; a shorter time period for the expansion of the Advanced Premium Tax Credit; a temporary ACA approach for covering people in non-Medicaid expansion states and new policies to encourage non-expansion states to expand; $150 billion for HCBS; and the removal of prescription drug pricing policies. Rumors over the weekend were that the House would vote on Tuesday on both, but it appears that this will slip until later this week as negotiations progress on a few outstanding provisions that could change the final bill. These include prescription drug pricing reform, Medicare expanded benefits, SALT taxes, and immigration.
Democrats are seeking to get this done quickly to ensure votes. And as soon as Democrats have the votes in the Senate, they will take up both bills in the House. Presuming House passage, the Senate is then expected to act quickly on the Build Back Better Act. It is possible that the bill will need to come back to the House after the Senate acts if there are Byrd rule changes.
So, not certain this all wraps up this week for many reasons.
Listen to this week’s episode of the Healthcare Preview podcast with Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock.