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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.

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

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

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

DACA Yes, No, Maybe

On Wednesday, September 13, the President and Democratic leaders appeared to line up on a deal that would restore protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) children and youth. The initial description indicated the DACA protections would go hand and hand with greater security funding but no wall against Mexico funding. Within hours however

Murray-Scott Release Child Care Expansion Bill

On Thursday, September 14, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act. The new legistaion attempts to set down a strong marker for what is truly needed to make improvements in the nation’s child care and early childhood education systems across the fifty states. It would