With the continuing resolution (CR) passed, Congress is unlikely to consider any further health policy legislation before the election. We can now turn to considering what Congress may do on health policy after the election and how that could impact possible actions for the new Congress in early 2023. Congress is set to return post-election on November 14, 2022, for internal organizing for the new Congress and to pass an omnibus package that funds the government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2023. This package will be the key piece of legislation that moves during this final stretch of calendar year 2022, and as a result, will become the vehicle for other policy priorities. Other than the omnibus, expectations are that Congress may use the lame duck session to move the National Defense Authorization Act, a marriage equality bill, and potentially attempt to address the debt limit in advance of the 118th Congress, where under all scenarios that looms as an incredibly politically difficult problem to tackle next year. It is also possible that an emergency supplemental appropriations funding bill could move separately.
There are three general buckets of policy priorities for omnibus legislation: must-do policies, other priorities and aspirational policies. Must-do policies are items that Congress must do prior to the new Congress that begins in January 2023, such as funding the government for the remainder of FY 2023. Other priorities are the remaining policy priorities that have received bipartisan support but don’t have a definitive deadline and could be taken up again in the 118th Congress. Aspirational priorities are items that, while unlikely, could potentially find their way into an omnibus bill during the lame duck. For purposes of this report, we are solely focused on these categories in the context of health policy provisions.
Click here to download the detailed summary of the key provisions in the Lame Duck Preview 2022