Healthcare Preview: Week of November 22, 2021

A Short Holiday Reprieve/

Congress is out, but the work behind the scenes continues. Late last week, the House passed the Build Back Better Act (BBB) after Minority Leader McCarthy gave the longest “one-minute” floor speech in history. After his 8 hours and 32 minutes oratory marathon, the House passed the BBB Friday morning with only one Democrat vote in opposition.

BBB is now in the Senate’s hands, where we await the Senate Parliamentarian’s rulings, as well as certain Senators continuing to push for changes. While we don’t believe the focus is on healthcare, there are two exceptions to that. First, Senator Manchin continues to raise concerns against expanding Medicare to include hearing benefits, an essential priority for a different Senator: Bernie Sanders. There may also be a revisiting of the newly-added provision to reduce Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid.

We will be watching for any behind-the-scenes developments this week and anticipate a busy week when we return. Several significant outstanding issues, including funding the government and increasing the debt limit, will be at the top of the to-do next week.

Bottom line: Enjoy the holiday break and get ready for the chaos to start again next week.

LISTEN HERE:The House 220-213 vote to advance the Build Back Better bill came after many months of debate within the Democratic caucus on the bill’s priorities. Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock expand that while the House vote is a political victory for President Biden, his economic agenda is still far from crossing the finish line.