McDermottPlus Healthcare Preview: Week of February 22

HOUSE RECONCILIATION PACKAGE AND NOMINATION HEARINGS.

HOUSE EXPECTED TO PASS THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021. This week, House is expected to pass the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 reconciliation package, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. We do not expect much will change in the package from what was advanced out of the various House Committees. The package included a number of policy changes for Medicaid, public health funding, funding for states and localities, and a $15 minimum wage increase. Democrats are not expecting any votes from Republicans, so the bill likely advance to Senate on a party line vote. Once in the Senate the question remains what provisions will be added or subtracted from the version that will pass the House. Democrats are aiming to give President Biden a package by mid-March, prior to the expiration of the additional COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

BECERRA NOMINATION HEARINGS. Also happening this week is the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee and Senate Finance Committee nomination hearings for Xavier Becerra for Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. We are expecting push back from Republicans on his nomination. In fact, Vice President Harris may have to cast the tie breaking vote to confirm his nomination. We will be watching for tone and messaging from Senate Republicans throughout the hearings.

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