Congress Adopts Coronavirus Emergency Package #3

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the U.S. Senate unveiled and passed HR 748, the third COVID-19 emergency spending legislation. The House gave its final approval on Friday. The $2 trillion supplemental package attempts to cover a range of problem areas from small and big business relief, expanded and extended unemployment compensation, a tax refund pass-through,

Congress Adopts Coronavirus Emergency Package #2 With Third Bill To Follow

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Congress completed work on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, HR 6201: • An increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid and Title IV-E by 6.2 percent (state by state Medicaid increase, Center on Budget Policy and Priority) • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)—$500 million •

…Bill Number Three Coronavirus Emergency Package

The President had requested $2.5 billion for coronavirus on February 24, and Congress instead sent him a package of $8.3 billion on March 5, which was followed by last week’s bill that tops $100 billion. This third package looks likely to exceed $1 trillion. On Thursday, the Administration released an emergency package that includes a

DC Child Welfare Agency Responds to COVID-19

The Child and Family Service Agencies (CFSA) in Washington, D.C. has made changes to services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While the government agency is still providing services, the front-line staff and supervisors of Program Operations are under partial telework status. While the building is closed to the public, supervisors are still required to

House Works to Move on Covid-19 Virus Relief Package

After several days of back and forth, the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, HR 6201, on Friday night. The House vote was 363 to 40. The Senate left on Thursday but is expected to take the legislation up this week after canceling their one week break. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

U.S. Supreme Court to Take up Affordable Care Act

On Monday, March 2, 2020, the Supreme Court announced it will take up a case that could ultimately strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that is what its opponents are hoping. It also means that the Court in the fall of 2020 will have several highly controversial cases to consider (along with the previous

America’s Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned & A Way Forward

On Wednesday, February 26, The Hill hosted “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned & A Way Forward” sponsored by Indivior, a pharmaceutical company. According to a 2019 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths, and 47,600 of those deaths involved an opioid, which is a 9.6% increase since

Administration Budget Sets Up Cuts And Debates for 2020

The Administration released its FY 2021 budget on Monday, February 10, 2020. This year’s budget, A Budget for America’s Future, proposes a number of human service cuts and human service funding increases but overall includes reductions in non-defense spending despite last year’s budget agreement. The President’s FY 2021 budget should be based on last summer’s

Administration Proposes Billions in Medicaid Cuts

Building on their Thursday, January 30, 2020, their Medicaid Healthy Adult Opportunity waiver proposal, the Administration proposes cuts to Medicaid of $920 billion over the next ten years. The reductions are the result of various restrictions, new requirements (such as work), and various block grant options, as evidenced by January waiver notice to states. Both

Administration Moves on Optional Medicaid Block Grant

On Thursday, January 30, the Trump Administration followed up on last week’s reports with their Medicaid Healthy Adult Opportunity proposal. The announcement came through CMS Administrator Seem Verma with careful avoidance of using the term block grant. The Administration is attempting to use their waiver authority to allow a more limited Medicaid block grant. In

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