Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
Efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act by Senate Republicans are now on the back burner. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said that his committee will largely focus on expanding access to affordable health care and reducing prescription drug prices.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said that reaching a spending caps deal is his top priority after the April recess (which ends April 29). While McConnell acknowledges that it will not be easy to reach a deal, he plans to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to try to come to an agreement. Any increase in STD funding is reliant on the Senate and the House reaching an agreement on raising the spending caps for FY20.
On Wednesday, April 17, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) held the first listening session for the National STD Plan. Participants of the session were asked to consider the following questions for feedback:
During the call expansion of STD testing options, best practices for STD testing and treatment, stigma, DIS, and FDA approval for NAAT testing were all raised. NCSD members Michael Kharfen (District of Columbia), Mario Perez (Los Angeles), and Amelia Hamarman (New Jersey) participated and made important points around how to improve STD testing and treatment.
The ASH will be hosting the next listening session at 3:30pm on May 9. You can register for that session here.