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President Continues Assault on ACA

The President on, Thursday October 12, took two actions designed to weaken the individual insurance market.  Although the first action of the day, an Executive Order to deregulate markets, drew the most initial attention, it is the second action on Cost Sharing Reductions (CRS) that could have the most immediate impact. The Executive Order is

Energy and Commerce Committee on Opioids

On Wednesday the House Energy and Commerce Committee took its turn at focusing on the Opioids epidemic.  This and other recent Congressional hearings are not without irony since they come against a backdrop of efforts to weaken the ACA and Medicaid which have increased access to critical substance use and mental health services.  The twin

Differences on Child Care Tax Credit and Children’s Credit Being Muddled

The Washington debate of tax reform is in the process of confusing and potential combining two separate and significant tax credits, the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.  The first one is provided to parents with a child under 17.  The second is a long time established and important tax

Administration Seeks Deal Breaker on DACA

The Administration on late Sunday October 8, released their priorities for any immigration reform as part of any deal on preserving the current protections for DACA students.  Under Secure the Border by Deterring and Swiftly Removing Illegal Entrants, Establish Merit-Based Reforms to Promote Assimilation and Financial Success and Enforce Immigration Laws Across the United States.

CHIP Moves Forward in House and Senate Committees

On Wednesday, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee moved their version of a CHIP reauthorization. The Senate bill sponsored by Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act (S. 1827), would extend CHIP for five years

Budget Resolution Slams Spending and Programs and Opens Tax Fast-Track

The two 2018 budget resolutions adopted in the House and Senate Committees have two broad themes: larger tax reductions and larger budget cuts. The budget resolutions are different in the extent of their cuts with the House version being much grander in its mandatory and entitlement cuts and its cuts to the annual appropriations. Their

HELP Committee on Opioids: For Every Overdose There are 60 Addicts

Last Thursday the Senate HELP Committee focused on the topic of spreading opioid addiction and what current Administration leaders and departments were doing about it. One of the starkest statistics (from the CDC) is that for every opioid related overdose death, there are another 60 addicts out there. The witnesses were Food and Drug Administration

Home Visiting Approved by House, Waiting on Senate

Now that the House has acted on their version of a home visiting reauthorization (the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824)), and the Senate has their version of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, (the Strong Families Act of 2017), advocates are strategizing how to extend

DACA Debate More Confused After Senate Hearing

On Tuesday, October 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing since the President’s controversial executive order reversing President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals, or DACA. That order was quickly followed by a controversial informal announcement of a deal with Democratic leaders. The hearing, Oversight of the Administration’s Decision to End Deferred Action

Administration Seeks $29 Billion in Disaster Funds

The Administration is seeking $29 billion in emergency/disaster relief funds. Of the total $16 billion will replenish the disaster insurance fund. The rest is mainly for Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, with approximately a half billion to address wildfires in the west. House Republican conservatives are demanding offsets, but that is unlikely to gather total conservative