What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • Wednesday, March 15
    • Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, “Examining the Future Path of VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Program.” Additional information
  • Thursday, March 16
    • Senate Finance Committee, “The President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.” Additional information
    • Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, “In Need of a Checkup: Examining the Cybersecurity Risks to the Health Care Sector.” Additional information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, March 13 to Tuesday, March 14
  • Monday, March 13
    • HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, “Briefing on the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.” Additional information
  • Tuesday, March 14
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “Connecting Promise and Practice: The Trajectory of Digitally Enabled Care.” Additional information
    • Google Health, “The Check Up with Google Health 2023.” Additional information
    • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards, “Town Hall One.” Additional information
  • Tuesday, March 14 to Thursday, March 16
    • America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), “2023 AHIP Health Policy & Markets Forum.” Additional information
  • Wednesday, March 15 to Thursday, March 16
  • Wednesday, March 15
    • American Enterprise Institute, “Modernizing Policy for Eligibility for Federal Disability Benefits.” Additional information
    • Brookings Institution, “Securing Pharmaceutical Supply Chains.” Additional information
    • Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), “Unwinding Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Public Health Emergency (PHE) Flexibilities.” Additional information
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “Interoperability Standards Workgroup.” Additional information
  • Thursday, March 16
    • FDA, “Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting.” Additional information
    • Kaiser Family Foundation, “How are State Medicaid Programs Approaching the Unwinding of the Federal Continuous Enrollment Provision?” Additional information
  • Friday, March 17
    • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards, “Town Hall Two.” Additional information
Weekly Wrap-Up: Notable Health Care Developments from Last Week

President’s FY2024 Budget Request – 

  • On March 9, President Biden released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget Request. The budget proposes $144 billion in discretionary and $1.7 trillion in mandatory budget authority for HHS for FY 2024. Overall priorities for HHS in FY 2024 include: protecting and strengthening Medicare; transforming behavioral health care; preparing for future public health threats and pandemics; strengthening the public health system; expanding and investing in the health care workforce; expanding coverage and access to quality, affordable health care; advancing maternal health and health equity; advancing progress toward Cancer Moonshot goals; and several other priorities. President’s Budget President’s Budget Fact Sheet HHS Budget in Brief HHS Budget Press Release  Fact Sheet on Advancing Equity Fact Sheet on Lowering Health Care Costs Fact Sheet on Cancer Moonshot
  • Also on March 9, HHS Secretary Becerra delivered remarks on the HHS Budget for FY 2024, supporting the President’s leadership and investments towards building a healthier America. Press Release
  • On March 10, House Ways & Means Committee Chair Smith (R-MO) released a one-pager on the President’s FY 2024 Budget Request, raising concerns about the impacts of Medicare drug price negotiation and Medicare solvency. Press Release One-Pager

Medicare & Medicaid – 

  • On March 7, the White House released a fact sheet, “The President’s Budget: Extending Medicare Solvency by 25 Years or More, Strengthening Medicare, and Lowering Health Care Costs,” stating the FY2024 budget request will extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund through 2050 and lower costs for beneficiaries through Medicare drug price negotiation, Part D cost-sharing caps, and lower behavioral health care costs. Fact Sheet
  • Also on March 7, President Biden authored an op-ed in the New York Times, “My Plan to Extend Medicare for Another Generation,” which states his budget request will propose extending Medicare solvency beyond 2050 by subjecting more drugs to negotiation and starting negotiations sooner, in addition to raising taxes on certain Americans. Op-ed
  • Also on March 7, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report which found that Florida generally complied with Federal Medicaid requirements for invoicing manufacturers for rebates for physician-administered drugs dispensed to managed care enrollees. Report in Brief Report
  • On March 8, CMS released a State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL), Third Party Liability in Medicaid: State Compliance with Changes Required in Law and Court Rulings, which provides guidance on new liability requirements reflected in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 and in a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Letter
  • On March 9, CMS announced that new 2021 Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance information is now available for doctors and clinicians on Medicare Care Compare. Medicare Care Compare
  • Also on March 9, CMS released the updated interpretive guidance for State Operations Manual Hospital interpretive guidelines (Appendix A) for the Quality Assessment & Performance Improvement (QAPI) Program. Guidance
  • On March 10, CMS released a notice on the Rehabilitation Unit and Hospital Criteria Worksheet, which Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) hospitals must use to attest they meet the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) exclusion criteria. Comments are due April 9, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 10, CMS released a notice on the requirement for electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) for a covered Part D drug under a prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription-Drug Plan. Comments are due May 9, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 10, CMS announced that Alaska submitted a request to extend its Medicaid section 1115 demonstration entitled the “Alaska Substance Use Disorder and Behavioral Health Program.” Comments are due by April 9, 2023. Application Comments
  • Also on March 10, CMS released its quarterly Medicaid and CHIP Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) application processing time report, reflecting activities for July – September 2022. Report
  • Also on March 10, HHS OIG released a report, “At A Glance: Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report.” The report analyzed the annual statistical data on case outcomes submitted by Medicaid Fraud Control Units, such as convictions, civil settlements and judgements, and recoveries. Report in Brief Report

Marketplaces –

  • On March 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on control activities for preventing improper advance premium tax credit eligibility determinations by state-based marketplaces. Report

Payment & Delivery System Models – 

  • On March 9, Senate Finance Committee Republicans sent a letter to HHS Secretary Becerra and CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure raising concerns, including those raised by patient advocates and providers, on the Accelerating Clinical Evidence Model, which would implement the drug-pricing model for prescription drugs. Press Release Letter

Public Health Preparedness, Prevention, Surveillance, & Data – 

  • COVID-19 Data: To date, there are 103,672,529 total COVID-19 cases and 1,119,762 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Also, 967,430,045 COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered and 672,537,312 individual COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Data
  • FDA Action Update: To date, FDA has authorized 444 tests under Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs), including 299 molecular tests, 84 antibody tests, 60 antigen tests and one diagnostic breath test. FDA also continues to update COVID-19 FAQs.
  • On March 5, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Majority Staff released a report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic which suggests that, at the onset of the pandemic, evidence was skewed to disprove the “lab leak theory.” Report
  • On March 7, the FDA released a statement on the agency’s interactions and decisions regarding the EUA of Lucira Health’s COVID-19 & Flu Home test. The FDA determined the test posed a risk to consumers due to a toxic substance identified in one of the test components, making it unsuitable for at-home use. Statement
  • On March 8, HHS and the Department of State released a joint update underscoring the United States’ commitment to developing a pandemic accord after the conclusion of the Fourth Meeting at the World Health Organization of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body last week. Press Release
  • On March 10, CDC released a notice rescinding the order requiring a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 for aircraft passengers traveling to the United States from China. Notice
  • Also on March 10, the FDA released a notice authorizing an EUA for an in vitro diagnostic device in response to an outbreak of mpox. Notice
  • Also on March 10, the FDA released a notice authorizing EUAs for certain medical devices in response to COVID-19. Notice
  • Also on March 10, the HHS OIG released a notice containing information on the Policy Statements and frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents OIG instituted during the COVID-19 PHE Declaration, explaining what each flexibility did among other information. Notice
  • Also on March 10, House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chair Wenstrup (R-OH) and Rep. McClain (R-MI) wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Califf requesting information related to the FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine approval and the Administration’s guidance to the American people on vaccines and booster shots. Press Release Letter
  • Also on March 10, FDA released a notice detailing plans to withdraw or begin to wind-down 44 COVID-19-related guidances once the PHE ends on May 11. Notice

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health –

  • On March 6, the ONC released its 2022 Report to Congress on updates in the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. ONC also published a blog that highlighted key updates shared in the report. Report Blog
  • On March 7, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth released a fact sheet on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proposed rule for telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances. Fact Sheet
  • On March 8, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) published a cybersecurity framework implementation guide to help health care organizations improve their ability to manage cyber-related risks. Press Release Guide
  • On March 9, the ONC published a blog on the recent Health Datapalooza conference that took place February 23-24, 2023. The blog notes key health IT and interoperability updates and announcements that occurred as part of this event. Blog
  • Also on March 9, the ONC published a blog on physicians’ use of telemedicine, which jumped from 15 percent in 2018 and 2019 to 87 percent in 2021, The blog also highlights the rapid growth of telehealth apps from January 2020 to June 2021. Blog

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy –

  • On March 7, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for the Circles of Care program. The program provides tribes and tribal organizations with tools and resources to plan and design a family-driven, community-based, and culturally and linguistically competent system of care for children and youth with or at risk of mental health challenges. Applications are due May 5, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 7, SAMHSA announced a NOFO for the Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness program. The program provides comprehensive, coordinated and evidenced-based services for individuals, youth, and families with a serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance or co-occurring disorder who are experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness. Applications are due May 5, 2023. Notice
  • On March 8, HRSA released a notice on the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program (LRP), which provides the repayment of education loans for certain individuals working in full-time substance use disorder treatment jobs. Notice
  • Also on March 8, the CDC announced two NOFOs under its Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program to advance the work health departments and communities play in driving down overdose deaths. Applications are due May 8, 2023. Press Release
  • On March 9, CMS released a notice for comment request on the Value in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment demonstration. The demonstration aims to increase access of applicable beneficiaries to opioid use disorder treatment services and reduce Medicare program expenditures, among others. Notice
  • Also on March 9, SAMHSA announced a NOFO for the Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth program. The program aims to increase student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care. Applications are due May 8, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 9, SAMHSA announced four NOFOs on alcohol use disorders, opioid use disorder, serious mental disorders, and the Zero Suicide in Health Systems program. Applications are due May 8, 2023. Notice
  • On March 10, HHS announced approximately $25 million to expand primary health care, including mental health services, in schools. To receive the school-based funding, applicants will be required to add or expand mental health services. Press Release

Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, & Biomedical Research –

  • On March 7, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that a blood test identified that acute myeloid leukemia patients were at greater risk for relapse after bone marrow transplant. Press Release
  • On March 10, the GAO released a report on FDA’s efforts to support advanced manufacturing, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as FDA’s actions to address challenges to increasing the use of advanced manufacturing. GAO recommended that FDA finalize performance goals and measures related to its advanced manufacturing program efforts and regularly assess program progress. Report in Brief Report

Veterans Health and Military Health –

  • On March 7, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OIG released a report on the accuracy of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) annual report to Congress documenting its capacity to provide specialized treatment for disabilities. VA OIG identified minor errors and data omissions. Report in Brief Report
  • Also on March 7, Rep. Castro (D-TX) and Sen. Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to Department of Defense Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs Dr. Martinez-Lopez and Director of the Defense Health Agency Lieutenant General Crosland, raising concerns about surprise medical billing at Brooke Army Medical Center. Press Release Letter
  • On March 8, VA OIG released a report on a review of opioid therapy management practices by patient aligned care team providers and supervisors at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, as well as the facility’s oversight processes for opioid therapy. Report in Brief Report
  • On March 9, VA OIG released a report on a review that was conducted to assess the merits of a March 2022 allegation that a Decision Review Operations Center (DROC) was not designating or training appropriate staff to decide complex appeals. An estimated 1,200 complex appeals were decided by staff who were undesignated or made decisions that did not receive required second reviews. Report in Brief Report
  • Also on March 9, VA OIG released a report on allegations related to the provision of ketamine for patients with treatment-resistant depression at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System in Muskogee. Report in Brief Report

Population Health, Public Health & Health Equity –

  • On March 6, the GAO released a report on steps HHS is taking to help states support relative caregivers with evidence-based programs. Report
  • Also on March 6, HHS awarded $250,000 in emergency funding to the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County to support East Palestine, Ohio residents. Press Release
  • Also on March 6, HHS OIG released a news release, “Women’s History Month: The Legacy of Inspector General (IG) June Gibbs-Brown.” News Release
  • On March 7, HHS released a press release stating that the Office for Civil Rights has reached an agreement with Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue to ensure that individuals needing emergency medical services are not discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Press Release
  • On March 8, HRSA released a notice seeking nominations for two appointments as members of the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health (NACMH). HRSA will receive written nominations for NACMH membership on a continuous basis. Notice
  • Also on March 8, HHS released a report highlighting key themes and ideas from a HHS Convening on Advancing Primary Prevention in Human Services in August 2022. With a particular focus on prevention of youth and family homelessness, discussion highlighted the opportunity for human services to shift from responding to families once they are in crisis to preventing the crisis before it occurs. Report
  • Also on March 8, the FDA issued a proposed rule outlining new requirements for tobacco manufacturers regarding the manufacture, design, packing and storage of their products. These proposed requirements would, among other things, minimize or prevent contamination and limit additional risks by ensuring product consistency. Press Release Proposed Rule
  • On March 9, HRSA released a notice on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Allocations and Expenditures Reports, which allow HRSA to monitor and track the use of grant funds for compliance. Notice
  • Also on March 9, the HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) announced that the White House-HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge will accept new signatories on an ongoing basis. Press Release
  • Also on March 9, Acting Science Advisor to the President Francis Collins wrote an article in JAMA on the opportunity for a national Hepatitis C elimination program in the United States. Article
  • Also on March 9, FDA published updates to its mammography regulations to, among other things, require mammography facilities to notify patients about the density of their breasts, strengthen the FDA’s oversight and enforcement of facilities and help interpreting physicians better categorize and assess mammograms. Press Release
  • On March 10, CDC released a report with recommendations for screening and testing for Hepatitis B virus infection. Report
  • Also on March 10, CDC released a report on adult e-cigarette use. Report
  • Also on March 10, CDC released a report on pediatric invasive A Streptococcus (iGAS) infection in children and adolescents. Report

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce –

  • On March 6, Sens. Hassan (D-NH) and Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure urging CMS to update its price transparency rule to increase compliance and ensure transparency. Letter
  • On March 7, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital requesting information about the kinds of medical interventions provided by the hospital’s Transgender Center. Press Release Letter
  • On March 8, HRSA released a notice seeking public comment on the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) Data Form, Annual Performance Report Financial Data Form, and the NFLP Due Diligence Form. Comments are due by May 8, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 8, HRSA released a notice seeking public comment on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, specifically on funding to support the education and training of oral health providers in HIV oral health care. Comments are due by May 8, 2023. Notice
  • Also on March 8, HRSA released a notice seeking public comment on the application under the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act (FSHCAA). Health centers submit deeming applications annually to HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care. Comments are due by May 8, 2023. Notice

Reproductive, Maternal, & Infant Health  –

  • On March 6, Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) called on pharmacies across the country to provide their patients with access to mifepristone, a safe and common abortion and miscarriage management medication that is legal in every state. Press Release 
  • On March 8, Sens. Warren (D-MA), Hirono (D-HI), Smith (D-MN), Blumenthal (D-CT), Menendez (D-NJ), and Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to Walgreens CEO Rosalind Brewer, expressing concern regarding recent reports that the company would not dispense medication abortion in 21 states where Republican Attorneys General have threatened the company. Press Release Letter
  • Also on March 8, Sen. Duckworth (D-IL) led 11 colleagues in sending a letter to Walgreen’s CEO Rosalind Brewer to express strong opposition to Walgreens’ premature decision to publicly declare its intent to avoid dispensing Mifepristone in certain states. Press Release Letter
  • On March 9, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) put out a request for supplemental evidence and data submissions to inform its review on Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. The submission deadline is April 10, 2023. Notice

Misc. –

  • On March 7, Sen. Lankford (R-OK) led Republican colleagues in a comment letter in response to a proposed rule by HHS on Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statutes. The letter demands greater implementation and enforcement of statutory conscience protections for medical professionals. Press Release Letter
  • On March 8, House Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Member Pallone (D-NJ), House Education & Workforce Committee Ranking Member Scott (D-VA), and House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Neal (D-MA) wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Becerra in support of its proposal to rescind detrimental provisions from the 2019 rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority.” Press Release Letter Rule
  • On March 10, the White House released a fact sheet highlighting the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, as well as the top 15 highlights, during the past two years. Fact Sheet Top 15 Highlights

Legislative Activity –

Votes and Committee Activity –

  • On March 7, the House passed the Removing Extraneous Loopholes Insuring Every Veteran Emergency (RELIEVE) Act (H.R. 815) by voice vote. The bill would make certain improvements relating to the eligibility of veterans to receive reimbursement for emergency treatment furnished through the Veterans Community Care program. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 7, the House passed the Wounded Warrior Access Act (H.R. 1226) by a vote of 422-0. The bill would allow for the electronic request of certain records. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Bill text Press release
  • On March 8, the House passed the VA COST SAVINGS Enhancements Act (H.R. 753) by a vote of 426-0. The bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use on-site regulated medical waste treatment systems at certain Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 8, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health held a markup of and advanced five pieces of health care legislation. The bills now advance to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee for consideration. Press release Markup recording Markup memo
    • The Block, Report, And Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act (H.R. 501) would require drug manufacturers, distributors, and other DEA registrants to practice due diligence when discovering suspicious orders of controlled substances. Bill text
    • The 9-8-8 Lifeline Cybersecurity Responsibility Act (H.R. 498) would require internal coordination within HHS to protect the 9-8-8 lifeline from cybersecurity incidents. Bill text
    • The Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 485) would prohibit all federal health care programs and federally funded state health care programs from using prices that are based on quality-adjusted life years and similar measures to determine relevant thresholds for coverage, reimbursements, or incentive programs. Bill text
    • The Halt All Lethal Trafficking of (HALT) Fentanyl Act (H.R. 467) would place fentanyl-related substances permanently into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Bill text
    • The Securing the Border for Public Health Act of 2023 (H.R. 801) would allow the HHS Secretary, after consultation with the Attorney General, to suspend persons and imports related to certain controlled substances from certain designated foreign countries into the United States. Bill text
  • On March 10, the House passed the COVID–19 Origin Act of 2023 (S. 619), which requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information relating to the origin of COVID-19. The bill now heads to the President to sign into law. Bill text Press release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On March 6, Sens. Thune (R-SD) and Carper (D-DE) introduced the Chronic Disease Management Act (S. 655), which would permit high deductible health plans to provide chronic disease prevention services to plan enrollees prior to satisfying their plan deductible. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 6, Sens. Murphy (D-CT) and Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act (S. 663), which would eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. The companion legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 549) on January 26, 2023. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 6, Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) and 19 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act (S. 665), which would provide incentives to physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved communities. Press release
  • On March 7, Reps. Dean (D-PA) and Mace (R-SC) introduced the Breakthrough Therapies Act (H.R. 1393), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to define currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Sens. Booker (D-NJ) and Paul (R-KY) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 689). Press release
  • Also on March 7, Rep. Guest (R-MS) and seven bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses (END FENTANYL) Act (H.R. 1401), which would require the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to regularly review and update policies and manuals related to inspections at ports of entry. Press release
  • Also on March 7, Reps. Joyce (R-PA) and Peters (D-CA) introduced the Sustainable Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services in the Home Act (H.R. 1406), which would permanently extend certain in-home cardiopulmonary rehabilitation flexibilities established in response to COVID-19. Press release
  • Also on March 7, Reps. Matsui (D-CA), Bonamici (D-OR), Eshoo (D-CA), Smith (D-WA), Grijalva (D-AZ), and Carter (D-LA) introduced the Digital Equity Foundation Act (H.R. 1412), which would establish the Foundation for Digital Equity. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 7, Rep. Smith (D-WA) and seven bipartisan cosponsors introduced the 911 Community Crisis Responders Act (H.R. 1423), which would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to award grants to States, territories, political subdivisions of States and territories, Tribal governments, and consortia of Tribal governments to establish an unarmed mobile crisis response program. Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on March 7, Reps. Trone (D-MD), Correa (D-CA), McGovern (D-MA), Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Smith (D-WA), and Del. Norton (D-DC) introduced the SNAP Second Chance Act (H.R. 1427), which would limit the use of business integrity and reputation factors when determining the eligibility of a retail food store or a wholesale food concern to be approved to redeem supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits. Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on March 7, Sens. Brown (D-OH), Collins (R-ME), Heinrich (D-NM), and Mullin (R-OK) introduced the Increasing Mental Health Options Act of 2023 (S. 669), which would expand access to psychological and behavioral services. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 7, Sens. Booker (D-NJ) and Paul (R-KY) introduced the Breakthrough Therapies Act (S. 689), which would define currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Bill text Press release
  • On March 8, Reps. Hern (R-OK), Thompson (D-CA), Johnson (R-OH), and Matsui (D-CA) introduced the Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act of 2023 (H.R. 1458), which would provide for coverage of prescription digital therapeutics. Sens. Shaheen (D-NH), Capito (R-WV), Booker (D-NJ), and Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 723). Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 8, Rep. McClain (R-MI) and 18 cosponsors introduced the Safe RESEARCH Act, (H.R. 1466), which would prohibit research with human fetal tissue obtained pursuant to an abortion. Press Release
  • Also on March 8, Rep. Norman (R-SC) and six cosponsors introduced the No Mask Mandate for the Military Act (H.R. 1469), which would prohibit a mask mandate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on a military installation in the United States. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 8, Sen. Baldwin (D-WI) and 48 cosponsors introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023 (S. 701), which would protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services. Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on March 8, Sens. Rosen (D-NV) and Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Physicians for Underserved Areas Act (S. 703), which would make improvements to the redistribution of residency slots under the Medicare program after a hospital closes. Press release
  • Also on March 8, Sens. Rosen (D-NV) and Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act (S. 704), which would provide for interest-free deferment on student loans for borrowers serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program. Press release
  • Also on March 8, Sens. Rosen (D-NV) and Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Specialty Physicians Advancing Rural Care (SPARC) Act (S. 705), which would authorize a loan repayment program to encourage specialty medicine physicians to serve in rural communities experiencing a shortage of specialty medicine physicians. Press release
  • Also on March 8, Sens. Cassidy (R-LA), Hassan (D-NH), Young (R-IN), Carper (D-DE), Thune (R-SD), and Rosen (D-NV) introduced the Connected Maternal Online Monitoring (MOM) Act (S. 712), which would identify and address barriers to coverage of remote physiologic devices under State Medicaid programs to improve maternal and child health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. Press release
  • On March 9, Rep. Bush (D-MO) and 13 cosponsors introduced the Insulin for All Act of 2023 (H.R. 1485), which would limit the price charged by manufacturers for insulin. Sens. Sanders (I-VT), Merkley (D-OR), and Markey (D-MA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 727). Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on March 9, Reps. Craig (D-MN), Kildee (D-MI), and McBath (D-GA) introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act (H.R. 1488), which would establish requirements with respect to cost-sharing for certain insulin products. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Reps. Dingell (D-MI) and Bowman (D-NY) introduced the HCBS Access Act (H.R. 1493), which would require coverage of, and expand access to, home and community-based services under the Medicaid program; award grants for the creation, recruitment, training and education, retention, and advancement of the direct care workforce and to award grants to support family caregivers. Sen. Casey (D-PA) and 16 cosponsors introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 762). Press release
  • Also on March 9, Reps. Guthrie (R-KY), Peters (D-CA), Buschon (R-IN), and Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 1502), which would reauthorize comprehensive opioid recovery centers. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Reps. Harshbarger (R-TN) and Sherrill (D-NJ) introduced the Prescription Information Modernization Act of 2023 (H.R. 1503), which would provide for digital communication of prescribing information for drugs (including biological products). Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Rep. Mace (R-SC) introduced the Greater Access to Contraceptive Options Act (H.R. 1512), which would allow women greater access to a wider range of self-administered contraceptives approved under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Press release
  • Also on March 9, Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and 20 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act (H.R. 1526), which would provide hereditary cancer genetic testing for individuals with a history of a hereditary cancer gene mutation in a blood relative or a personal or ancestral history suspicious for hereditary cancer, and to provide coverage of certain cancer screenings or preventive surgeries that would reduce the risk for individuals with a germline (inherited) mutation associated with a high risk of developing a preventable cancer. Sens. Murkowski (R-AK) and Cardin (D-MD) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 765). Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on March 9, Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Audio-Only Telehealth for Emergencies Act (S. 729), which would provide for the waiver of certain telehealth requirements to permit reimbursement for audio-only telehealth services under the Medicare program during emergency declarations. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Enhance Access to Support Essential (EASE) Behavioral Health Services Act (S. 730), which would provide for Medicare and Medicaid mental and behavioral health treatment through telehealth. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Telehealth Health Savings Account (HSA) Act (S. 731), which would make permanent the permissible first-dollar coverage of telehealth services for purposes of health savings accounts. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 9, Sen. Casey (D-PA) and six cosponsors introduced the Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings (MINDS) Act (S. 767), which would enhance mental health and psychosocial support within United States development and humanitarian assistance programs. Bill text Press release
  • On March 10, Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Scott (R-SC) introduced the Increasing Mental Health Options Act of 2023 (S.708), which would increase access to pharmacogenomic testing for Medicaid beneficiaries. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Reps. Bucshon (R-IN), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Slotkin (D-MI) re-introduced the Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act, which would expand access to genetic testing for hereditary cancer. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Reps. Bucshon (R-IN), Guthrie (R-KY), Peters (D-CA), and Tonko (D-NY) introduced Opioid Recovery Centers Reauthorization Act of 2023, which would reauthorize a comprehensive opioid recovery centers program. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Reps. Carter (R-GA), Clarke (D-NY), and Sessions (R-TX) introduced the Dental and Optometric Care Access (DOC Access) Act, which would allow dentists and optometrists to charge an amount for services beyond the insurer’s mandated fee schedule. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Reps. Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Murphy (R-NC), Schrier (D-WA), and Craig (D-MN) introduced the Better Interoperability for Devices (BID) Act, which would require HHS to review the interoperability, safety, and effectiveness of medical devices. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Rep. Spanberger (D-VA) reintroduced the Criminalizing Abused Substance Templates (CAST) Act, which would address increase enforcement of manufactured counterfeit drugs. Bill text Press release
  • Also on March 10, Sen. Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Safe Step Act of 2023, which would place limits on the use of “step therapy,” when a patient is required to try and fail on a lower cost drug before accessing the drug originally prescribed. Press release
  • Also on March 10, 47 Senate Democrats re-introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, which would guarantee access to abortion nationwide. Press release Bill text