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Graham-Cassidy Bill has Serious Shot at Passage

The Senate is expected to vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Johnson-Heller Medicaid block grant/per capita cap this week, with shifting odds of passage. Over the weekend, more questions than answers were being raised about its prospects, especially after Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said on Friday that he could not vote for the bill yet due to the

CWLA Comments To Commission on Opioids

Last week, CWLA submitted comments to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The comments focus on how the Commission needs to include certain actions that can help address the drug epidemic’s impact on child welfare. On July 31, the Commission, Chaired by Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) released an interim report

Home Visiting Gets Boost from Senate

On Tuesday, September 19, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the “Strong Families Act of 2017,” reauthorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). The legislation was also co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). It

CHIP Extension Hopes

On Monday, September 18, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released their bill to extend CHIP for five years. The Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act (S. 1827), would over time reduce the enhanced match. In releasing the bill, Senator Hatch said, “Introducing this legislation is

Budget Resolution and Tax Cuts

Around the same time that the latest repeal of the ACA was gaining traction, Senate leaders lead by Budget Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) indicated that Republican leadership had come to an agreement on a budget resolution for 2018. The budget resolution is significant in that it could clear the way for a fast track

Home Visiting  Moves In Committee on Partisan Vote

On Wednesday morning and evening, the House Ways and Means Committee debated and passed a re-authorization of the home visiting program. The legislation, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, named the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824) passed on a party-line vote. Despite

Health Care: Bipartisan ACA Fix, Repeal and Replace, Or Crashing

Last week offered a range of possible directions on health care in 2017:  move toward a short-term fix of the ACA, repeal it and replace it with block grants or re-ignite the battles over universal care: HELP COMMITTEE ACTION The HELP Committee held two more hearings on Tuesday, September 12, and on Thursday, September 14. 

New Census Data Shows Some Progress on Poverty, Health Care in 2016

On Wednesday, September 13, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on poverty and health care coverage for the year 2016.  According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of children in the U.S. were living in poverty in 2016.  While that is a slight improvement over the previous year children continue

HELP Chair Wants Small Bipartisan ACA Fix This Week

  On Wednesday, September 6 the Senate HELP Committee began an initial series of four hearings over two weeks.  Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) struck a strong bipartisan note at the beginning of the hearing indicating that he wanted to find a basic quick bipartisan fix for some key issues and have an agreement together

HHS Appropriations for FY 2018 Adopted By Bipartisan Senate Committee

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week the Senate Appropriations Committee acted on their version of an FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education bill.  Now that the Congress has approved (on Friday) a CR that extends all FY 2018 funding until December 8, this bill will serve as a negotiating point with the House and Administration. The bill,