Senate HELP Hearing on Mental Health

On May 17, 2023, a hearing was held by the Senate HELP Primary Health & Retirement Subcommittee, “A Crisis in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care: Closing Gaps in Access by Bringing Care and Prevention to Communities,” to discuss the disparities in access to mental health and substance use disorder care throughout the country.

Federal Child Nutrition Program Waivers Increased Access

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal waivers issued by the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided flexibility that enabled child nutrition program operators to feed children amid challenges brought on by the pandemic, according to a new study. “Our study revealed how measures taken at the height

New Pain in the Nation Report Released

On May 24, 2023, Trust for America’s Health released its annual report, “Pain in the Nation 2023: The Epidemics of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide Deaths.” The report finds that the rate of U.S. deaths due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide climbed 11 percent in 2021 to a record 209,225 deaths. Key findings include: Drug overdose

House Begins Appropriations Markups

On Wednesday May 17, 2023, the House Appropriations began marking up some of the appropriations bills for FY2024. Although the House Majority has not released a budget resolution, the House-passed Limit, Save Grow Act on the debt ceiling has proposed overall discretionary spending be capped at FY2022 levels; it is widely accepted that Defense spending

Welfare Programs Reduce Disparities in Child Brain Development: Study

A new study from researchers at Harvard and Washington University in St. Louis and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NI), suggest that well-funded anti-poverty measures can improve both brain development and mental health in children. Past research has shown that childhood poverty has a negative long-term impact along various outcome measures, like lower

Bipartisan Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act Introduced

On April 27, 2023, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Representative Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) introduced the bipartisan Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act. According to Representative Khanna’s press release, “this bipartisan, bicameral bill would provide greater oversight and data transparency for institutional youth treatment

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP Act

On April 10, 2023, A Better Balance hosted a webinar about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and PUMP Act. This webinar helped break down the benefits, regulations and standards of each of these pieces of legislation. Additionally, speakers discussed possible areas of benefits beyond these two acts, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act

Ways and Means Committee Hears from Secretary Becerra

On Wednesday, March 28th, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on President Biden’s FY24 Budget proposal with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Although Chairman Jason Smith [R-MO] and Ranking Member Richard Neal [D-MA] raised diverging criticisms, there was bipartisan agreement on preventing “surprise billing,” providing Alzheimer treatments, and holding corporations accountable for migrant

Agency Leaders Respond About Impact of Budget Cuts

In January, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro sent letters to Federal agency heads asking for information about how the agencies would be impacted by the House Republicans’ proposal to cap spending at the FY 2022 funding levels. “The American people and Members of Congress deserve to know the real impact this policy would

House Hearing on the Fentanyl Crisis

On March 1, 2023, The House Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance held a hearing titled, “The Fentanyl Crisis in America: Inaction is No Longer an Option.” Under the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary committee, the subcommittee is led by Chairman Biggs [R-AZ] and Ranking Member Lee [D-TX]. In 2021, over 107,000 people in

Value prop about becoming a member