This week in Washington: Infrastructure, Executive Order on Anti-competitiveness, House Appropriations Committee Acts on Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill, Senate Budget Committee Democrats Agree on Budget Resolution.


House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Holds Markup of 19 Bills
On July 15, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health held a markup of 19 bills. All of the bills were reported favorably to the full committee. The bills can be found below.

  • H. R. 4369, the “National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Act”
  • H. R. 654, the “Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act”
  • H. R. 2051, the “Methamphetamine Response Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 2379, the “State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 2364, the “Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act”
  • H. R. 2355, the “Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 2503, the “Social Determinants Accelerator Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 4026, the “Social Determinants of Health Data Analysis Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 3743, the “Supporting the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration Act”
  • H. R. 550, the “Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act”
  • H. R. 1550, the “Promoting Resources to Expand Vaccination, Education and New Treatments for HPV Cancers Act of 2021” or the “PREVENT HPV Cancers Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 951, the “Maternal Vaccination Act”
  • H. R. 925, the “Data to Save Moms Act”
  • H. R. 4387, the “Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 3742, the “Vaccine Information for Nursing Facility Operators Act” or the “Vaccine INFO Act”
  • H. R. 1978, the “Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act”
  • H. R. 2347, the “Strengthening the Vaccines for Children Program Act”
  • H. R. 3894, the “Collecting and Analyzing Resources Integral and Necessary for Guidance for Social Determinants Act of 2021” or the “CARING for Social Determinants Act of 2021”
  • H. R. 4406, the “Supporting Medicaid in the U.S. Territories Act”

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2022 Funding Bill
On July 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related funding bill with a vote of 32-25. The bill would provide HHS with $119.8 billion, which is $22.9 billion above the 2021 amount but $129 million lower than President Biden’s May budget request. The bill would give the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $3 billion to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), less than the $6.5 billion requested by President Biden. Two amendments were adopted by a voice vote. The bill text, before the adoption of the amendments, can be found here.

Rep. Doggett Introduces Bill to Provide Dental, Vision and Hearing Care in Medicare
On July 6, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced the Medicare Dental, Vision and Hearing Benefit Act, which would add dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare. The bill would treat dental, vision and hearing care the same as existing health care under Medicare, with no cost-sharing or preventative care, with no more than 20 percent copay for all other services. The bill has the support of 75 members of Congress. The press release for the bill can be found here.


Senate Budget Committee Democrats Agree on $3.5 Billion Budget Resolution
On July 12, the Senate Budget Committee Democrats agreed on a budget resolution that would add dental, hearing and vision benefits to Medicare. The resolution would cost $3.5 billion and would be paid for with tax changes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated the budget resolution includes priorities President Biden detailed in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.

Democratic Senators Introduce Bill That Would Direct CMS to Create a Federal Medicaid-Style Program
On July 12, Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Medicaid Saves Lives Act. The bill would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create a federal Medicaid-style program. The program, which would be administered by CMS, would be available to people in non-Medicaid expansion states that earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill text can be found here. A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.

Sen. Schumer Releases Draft Legislation to Decriminalize Cannabis
On July 14, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Corey Booker (D-NJ), released a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The bill would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, provide for the expungement of certain cannabis offenses and devote resources to communities that were harmed during the War on Drugs. The draft bill text can be found here. A summary of the draft bill can be found here.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.