CWLA Joins Families USA In Call to Oppose More Health Care Cuts

Last week CWLA signed onto a letter led by Families USA calling on Congress to protect access to affordable, high-quality and comprehensive health insurance. The letter tells congressional leaders: “Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance, including insurance provided through the health insurance marketplaces, support the health, well-being, and financial security of millions of families across

Administration Extends Opioid Emergency

On Friday, January 19, Eric Hargan, the Acting Secretary for Health and Human Services announced the extension of “public health emergency” due to opioid addiction.  It is not clear what impact the declaration, and the President’s earlier declaration has had.  It allows some flexibility in the allocation of some funds in some programs, but it

What Will 2019 Budget Look Like

No official announcement has been made but much of Washington is expecting that the Administration will release their proposed FY 2019 budget in the first week of February.  That is required by law. But that budget will base program cuts and increases on what FY 2018 spending was set at, which has not yet been

New Religious Civil Rights Office

On Thursday, January 18, the Administration announced the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the HHS Office of Civil Rights. The Administration described the responsibilities of the division as promoting and protecting religious freedom in HHS programs. The Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said, “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience

HELP Committee Continues Focus on Opioids

By Brittney Gerteisen On Tuesday, January 9, the Senate HELP Committee continued their examination of the spread of opioid addiction by hearing from one witness, author Sam Quinones. Sam Quinones is the author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” an award-winning book published in 2015 that tells the story of how opiates

Senators Call For More Opioid Funding Now

On Tuesday, January 9, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) held a press conference indicating that the Democrats are seeking $25 billion more in opioid funding to be spread across the current fiscal year and the 2019 fiscal year. This year’s budget includes a $500 million increase because of legislation enacted at

Medicaid Work Requirements for Foster Youth?

The Administration followed up on earlier reports of new work requirements under Medicaid. On Thursday, January 11, CMS unveiled guidance allowing states for the first time in Medicaid’s 52 year history to impose work requirements on people who are covered by Medicaid health insurance. Some groups are exempt such as pregnant women, disabled and elderly

Administration Releases Last Year’s Plan to Weaken ACA

The Administration has released a memo from last March that outlined how the Administration had and is implementing a strategy to undercut and weaken the ACA. The document was released after pressure by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) who blocked Administration nominations until the document was made public. The document was used by then-HHS Secretary Tom

CHIP Reauthorization, Cost Free?

The CHIP reauthorization is still waiting for a final resolution. Due to the most recent CBO analysis (score) a CHIP reauthorization would be significantly less and could pay for itself and perhaps some additional programs. Because of what Congress has done to the ACA, cutting families off from CHIP would not be as cheap. That

CHIP Reauthorization

The CR includes a temporary patch for the CHIP program. The $2.8 billion is intended as an extension that would shore up states through March 2018. Critics question whether funding will last that long. It is expected that 2 million kids will continue coverage because of the small patch. Several states have been sending out

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