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House Leadership Discusses Repeal and Replace Plan

Last Thursday, February 16, Speaker Paul Ryan went before his Republican caucus to unveil the leaderships repeal and replace plan for the Affordable Care Act. That plan outlined in a white paper still left questions in the minds of some members fearing it didn't go far enough in its repeal or maybe went too far

Tax Plan Could Contribute to Entitlement Block Grants

Last week Congress was also talking tax cuts and tax reform.  How it ends up could have a big impact on entitlements.  It is expected that the second reconciliation—which hasn't been written yet until the next year’s budget resolution is adopted for FY 2018—will be used for a tax cut package.  There will likely be

Human Resources Subcommittee Holds First Hearing

On Wednesday, February 15 the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held its first subcommittee hearing under their new leadership of Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE). The hearing titled, The Changing Geography of US Poverty focused on rural poverty. Several members are new to the subcommittee and much of their focus was on their

Health Statistic and Trump Administration Actions on Health Care  

Last week resulted in the release of a range of health care statistics as well as some Administration actions that could greatly impact the ACA.  First the numbers. National Health Interview Survey, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the decline in the percentage of uninsured in the

ACA Repeal Timetables and Discussions

Congress is moving ahead with an ACA repeal but the timetables are all over the board as far as when and what will be included.  It is clear however that the House will be much more aggressive.  Reports are that House leaders would like to start to move legislation out of key committees as early

Social Services Block Grant

Sign your state and national organization onto a letter in support of preserving the Social Services Block Grant by February 17th!  The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) which provides critical protection and supports to children, youth, older adults, and people with disabilities, is expected to be a prime target for elimination in the 2017 Congress. Unlike other

Price Wins Approval for HHS

On Friday Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) was approved by the Senate for the Department of Health and Human Services.  The vote was 52 to 47, he was quickly sworn in and his two biggest priorities are likely to be a strategy to repeal the ACA and putting together an HHS budget. Congressmen Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)

CWLA Continues Vigilance on E.O. for Discrimination in Placement  

As reported last week the Trump Administration is considering an executive order that will “respect religious freedom” and could be so broad that it will allow the discrimination in the placement of children in adoptive, foster and kinship placements. It would extend these provisions beyond religious or faith based agencies to “any organization” including for-profit

Budget Decisions for FY 2017 and 2018 Could be Intense

The new Budget Director Mulvaney, when and if he gets confirmed will be tasked with two key decisions that could create enormous budget pressure on children’s programs.  Currently 2017 funding runs out at the end of April.  We are operating on flat funding through that CR.  Somewhere between the time decisions are made on funding

Cabinet Nominees Moving Forward

Last week several key appointments to the cabinet made progress toward Senate confirmation.  It appears that both Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) for the Department of Health and Human Services and Congressmen Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) for the Office of Management and Budget are on schedule for eventual approval by the full Senate however getting there has