The Congressional Calendar has Limited Time for a Robust Agenda. This week the House is on recess, but the Senate is in session. The House is not scheduled to have a vote from July 30th through September 20th. This leaves very limited time to develop and vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions before the August recess. Although schedules are able to change, the timeline to get both done before the August recess seems unrealistic. This is not to mention that Congress also needs to address the debt limit and government funding when Congress returns in September.
The bipartisan infrastructure package at this point seems to have some momentum. We have seen a very broad outline of the package. When we do see legislative text the area in health care that we will focus closely on is the unused COVID-19 pandemic funds, specifically the Provider Relief Funds. For the budget reconciliation instructions it will be important to watch the funding allocations to the key committees which will determine and drive how the funding is used and also drive savers that will raise money to be used elsewhere.
Puerto Rico Medicaid Reaches a Bipartisan Deal. Late last week the Energy and Commerce Committee reached a bipartisan agreement to provide long-term Medicaid funding to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories. The fact that this could be addressed now means it could go along with the infrastructure package and not be addressed later in the year. This means that other policies, such as extensions of COVID-19 public health emergency waivers, will need to gel together on their own and drive their own package.
Medicare Payment Regulations Are Coming. The Physician Fee Schedule and Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rules are due to come out any day now. Check back with us on updates and summaries of these regulations!
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