Health Care on the Hill: Week of November 11, 2013

Wednesday, October 13, 2013

9:30 a.m.
ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Hearing
2154 Rayburn House Office Building

10:00 a.m.
Cyber Side-Effects: How Secure is the Personal Information Entered into the Flawed
House Homeland Security Committee Hearing
311 Cannon House Office Building

10:00 a.m.
Budget Conference Committee Meeting
1100 Longworth House Office Building

Thursday, October 14, 2013

10:00 a.m.
The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities
House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing
2175 Rayburn House Office Building

10:00 a.m.
Obamacare Implementation Problems: More than Just a Broken Website
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing
2322 Rayburn House Office Building

10:00 a.m.
Self-Insurance and Health Benefits: An Affordable Option for Small Business?
House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Hearing
2360 Rayburn House Office Building

Friday, November 15, 2013

10:00 a.m.
Reviewing FDA’s Implementation of FDASIA
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing
2322 Rayburn House Office Building

Senate Democrats Announce 2014 Schedule

Senate Democratic leadership released their 2014 schedule on Thursday. The Senate is slated to begin the second session of the 113th Congress on January 6, 2014 and an adjournment date has not been set.

The proposed schedule is listed below, but is subject to changes and adjustments. There will likely be additional state work time around the midterm elections.

January 6, 2014: Convene
January 20 – 24: State Work Period (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
February 17 – 21: State Work Period (Presidents’ Day)
March 17 – 21: State Work Period
April 14 – 25: State Work Period (Passover and Easter)
May 26 – May 30: State Work Period (Memorial Day)
June 30 – July 4: State Work Period (Independence Day)
August 4 – September 5: State Work Period (Labor Day)

MedPAC To Meet This Week

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) will be meeting in Washington, DC this Thursday, November 7th, and Friday, November 8th, to discuss Medicare policies and recommendations. The agenda for the November meeting is available here.

MedPAC did not hold their scheduled meeting in October due to the government shutdown.

Health Care on the Hill: Week of November 4, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10:00 a.m.
The Online Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: Enrollment Challenges and the Path Forward
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing
430 Dirksen Senate Office Building
*CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner is expected to testify.

2:30 p.m.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing
419 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

10:00 a.m.
Health Insurance Exchanges: An Update from the Administration
Senate Finance Committee Hearing
215 Dirksen Senate Office Building
*HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to testify.

Health Care on the Hill: Week of October 28, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10:00 a.m.
Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation
House Ways and Means Committee Hearing
1100 Longworth House Office Building
* CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner is scheduled to testify.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

9:00 a.m.
PPACA Implementation Failures: Answers from HHS
House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
* HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify.

10:00 a.m.
Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013, CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013, H.R. 2094, Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013, and Nominations
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Markup
430 Dirksen Senate Office Building

November 6th Webinar: Top Ten Ways Hospitals and Health Systems Can Survive in the Current Federal Health Care Policy Environment

Health care providers are facing the most dynamic and uncertain regulatory, legislative and fiscal environment in more than a generation. Increasingly, hospitals and health systems need to develop and maintain comprehensive government relations programs that address their site-specific or system-specific concerns. Federal government relations efforts are an integral component to health care providers’ business planning and strategic operations.

Join Ilisa Halpern Paul, Managing Government Realtions Director, Drinker Biddle’s Lobbying and Advocacy Team, and Meghan Woltman, Vice President, Government & Community Relations at Advocate Health Care, on November 6, 2013 for a complimentary webinar that will review the ten best practices with respect to federal health policy and government relations. The webinar will help guide providers in evaluating existing efforts and will provide recommendations for the most effective federal government relations program to navigate the ever-changing federal policy environment. For more information or to register, see here.

Health Care on the Hill: Week of October 21, 2013

This week the House is in session but the Senate is in recess.

Also of note, President Obama will be delivering remarks at 11:25 a.m. today on the rollout of, the federal health insurance exchange website.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

9:00 a.m.
“PPACA Implementation Failures: Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose?”
House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing
2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Shutdown Day 16 Recap

Last night the House and Senate passed, and the President signed, legislation to both fund the government and raise the federal debt limit – the shutdown has ended.

The deal contained a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through January 15, 2014 and a debt limit extension to February 7, 2014. The bill also contained language requiring verification of income for those eligible for the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies.

Another provision in the CR/debt ceiling legislation is a bicameral, bipartisan budget conference. This conference is to meet to discuss discretionary spending levels for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and develop a report, due December 13, 2013. The conference committee is chaired by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI). House conferees include Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC), Tom Cole (R-OK), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), Tom Price (R-GA), and Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). All Senate Budget Committee members were named as conferees.

The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 81-18 and the House then followed with a vote of 285-144. The bill passed the House with 87 Republicans and 198 Democrats.

Following the vote, the Senate adjourned until Monday, October 28th. The House is scheduled to be in session today, but no schedule has been announced.

While the deal is good news – federal employees can go back to work and will get paid, federal programs can continue, and national parks and monuments are reopened – with the short-term CR, we could be facing this all again in 90 days.

Shutdown Day 15 Recap

After progress on Monday between Senate Democrats and Republicans in crafting a deal to end the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, Senate leadership paused negotiations following an announcement from House Republicans that they would put forth their own plan.

The initial House plan unveiled on Tuesday included a continuing resolution through January 15, 2014 and a debt ceiling increase through February 7, 2014. The House legislation also included a two year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) medical device tax, income verification for ACA subsidies, and cancellation of ACA subsidies for Members of Congress and the President’s Cabinet. After negotiations, the medical device tax was removed and the continuing resolution would run only through December 15th. The House was scheduled to vote on this proposal Tuesday night, but the vote was cancelled.

After the House plan failed to go anywhere, Reid and McConnell restarted Senate negotiations. It was reported last night that a Senate deal was practically done and that the major sticking point remaining was crafting the budget conference provision so that it cannot be subject to a point of order.

All the back and forth and attempted proposals have cut the timeline for a deal before the projected deadline for hitting the debt ceiling very short.

Shutdown Day 14 Recap

Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) met and subsequently announced that they were working toward a deal. The deal is reported to involve a continuing resolution through January 15, 2014, a debt ceiling hike through February 7, 2014 and a deadline of December 13, 2013 for holding a bicameral budget conference to discuss alternatives to sequestration. The deal does not include a delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate (or completely defunding the ACA), but including income verification requirements for the ACA’s insurance subsidies is still on the table. The plan funds the government at $986 billion until January 15th, when a $21 billion cut pursuant to sequestration would go into effect.

A White House meeting with Congressional leadership scheduled for yesterday afternoon was postponed to allow Senate leadership more time to work out a deal.

The House passed one additional limited continuing resolution (CR) yesterday, to fund the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and the Indian Health Service. H.J.Res. 80 passed by a vote of 233-38.

Also yesterday the Department of Energy released guidance for furloughed workers regarding temporary employment. Under the guidance, retail and food service positions are okayed, but consulting is not.