McDermottPlus Healthcare Preview: Week of May 10

CONGRESS IS BACK.

THE HOUSE AND SENATE ARE BACK FOR A THREE WEEK STRETCH. There is a lot that congressional Democrats need and should get done in the next three weeks to move their legislative agenda forward. Top of this agenda are the two infrastructure packages – the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. Expect lawmakers to actively begin turning President Biden’s proposals into legislative text in the weeks ahead while also beginning the process of addressing the debt limit and working to achieve other legislative priorities.

WHERE ARE THE NOMINEES? Although it is May 10, the Biden Administration has not yet officially announced nominees for 10 of the 19 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appointed positions. Nominees for directors of the Center for Medicare, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, and Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight are among the positions that are not yet announced. Without individuals in these and other political positions, it is difficult for the agency to move forward on policies, implement programs and start initiatives. We are expecting Andrea Palm to be officially confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of HHS very soon, and that Chiquita Brooks-LaSure will be confirmed as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shortly after.

BUDGET HEARING. While we wait for confirmations and nominees, HHS Secretary Becerra is continuing his rounds of Capitol Hill testifying on the President’s fiscal year 2022 budget request for HHS. This week, he will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

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