CONGRESS IS BACK FROM THEIR TWO WEEK RECESS. First up on the list of things to accomplish is for the House of Representatives to move the Medicare sequester moratorium legislation. Prior to recess, the Senate passed a bill that would extend the current Medicare sequester moratorium through the end of 2021. It also includes two technical corrections: 1) relating to rural health clinics, and 2) reinstating California’s disproportionate share hospital payment allowance that was removed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The House did not take up the bill as they could have during a recess pro forma session of Congress, so we expect that it will be voted on this week. We will watch for how many House Republicans vote against the bill as a result of the California hospital provision, even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is from California.
BUSY WEEK OF HEARINGS. This week is also busy with hearings. The most important hearing to watch is the confirmation hearing for Andrea Palm to be Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We watch to see how Republicans react and/or push back on both nominees simply because they are from the Biden Administration, as both nominees should be considered noncontroversial.
IT’S INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK. It is finally infrastructure week. Congress is expected to begin work on a legislative package as outlined by President Biden’s American Job’s Plan. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding where the Biden Administration and Congress go next with the proposal. Stakeholders across all spaces should be engaging with lawmakers to discuss how their priorities can fit within the package.
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