This week in Washington: Reconciliation markups begin.

Need for Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government
On Sept.10, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated that he expected the House to act on a Continuing Resolution (CR) the week of Sept. 20. It is expected that the CR would run approximately through Dec. 10. This would provide more time for the House and Senate to finish appropriations bills to fund the government.

House Ways and Means Committee Acts on Budget Reconciliation
On Sept. 9 and 10, the House Ways and Means Committee held a markup of the committee’s portion of what will be the budget reconciliation package. The Ways and Means Committee proposal includes expanding Medicare coverage to include dental, vision and hearing benefits and addressing staffing shortages in long-term care facilities by providing funds for recruitment and retention including wage subsidies, child care and tuition reimbursement. In addition, the proposal includes improving accuracy and reliability of data collected in long-term care facilities. The committee will continue marking up tax issues this week. The chairman’s mark can be found here.

House Energy and Commerce Committee to Mark Up Budget Reconciliation
On Sept. 13, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of their section of the budget reconciliation package. Among the proposals under consideration are drug pricing reform, addressing the Medicaid gap and making funding for the CHIP program permanent. The chairman’s mark can be found here.

Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucus Members Urge Congressional Leadership to Close the Medicaid Gap
On Sept. 5, four members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus leadership wrote to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging action to close the Medicaid coverage gap. The members wrote that improving Medicaid coverage will reduce racial health inequalities. Signatories to the letter included Rep. Robin Kelly (Health Braintrust chair of the CBC), Rep. Yvette Clarke (CBC member), Rep. Joyce Beatty (CBC chair) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (Hispanic Congressional Caucus chair). The letter can be found here.

Reps. Pallone and Maloney Request More Information on FDA’s Review and Approval of Aduhelm
On Sept. 1, Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock. In the letter, Reps. Pallone and Maloney requested additional information on the review and approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer drug Aduhelm. Reps. Pallone and Maloney state that although the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) provided a briefing and related materials to committee staff in July, questions about the approval process remain. The letter can be found here.

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