Health

…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 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

A Threat to America’s Children: The Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to SNAP

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, held a hearing entitled A Threat to America’s Children: The Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Five witnesses gave testimony: Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of the No Kid Hungry Campaign, Zach Pethan, Principal of

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

MACPAC report on IMDs

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) produced a report to Congress on the oversight of Institutions of Mental Diseases (IMDs). “MACPAC serves as a non-partisan legislative branch agency and independent source of information for Medicaid and CHIP and are responsible for reporting to Congress.” Federal definition for IMD are a “hospital, nursing

ACA Path to Full Coverage Outlined

Last week, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a key Obama Administration advisor on health care reform, described how several states, using the ACA, have achieved near-universal coverage. At the same time, the Trump Administration moved forward on a proposal that would turn the Medicaid program into a partial state block grant. Emanuel writing in Politico said that

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