Here's the scoop on what's happening in Federal Policy from the NCSD policy team.
Stephanie Arnold Pang
August 4, 2017
ACA Replacement Legislation
As stated in last week’s NCSD Federal Policy Update, efforts on the Senate floor to repeal and replace, or just repeal, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were not successful. This week, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP, which has jurisdiction over the majority of health-related issues) have stated that they are working on a package that could get bi-partisan support to address some issues that have arisen with the ACA. Namely, they aim to focus their efforts on stabilizing the ACA’s marketplaces and individual marketplaces. President Trump has called on Congress to continue to repeal debate and has stated a desire to “let [the ACA] explode,” so the political pressure on Congress to address health care issues is strong. Any Congressional action will need to wait for September, however, because both chambers of Congress have now broken for their August recess.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing to consider the nominations of the following for positions at the Department of Health and Human Services:
Dr. Brett Giroir for Assistant Secretary for Health
Dr. Jerome Adams for Surgeon General
Dr. Adams served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner during the outbreak of HIV in Scott County, IN, so HIV and syringe service programs were discussed many times during the hearing. Toward the end of the hearing, Sen. Maggie Hassan asked a specific question on HIV/AIDS policy, asking “what do you see as your role in making sure we are confronting and having robust HIV/AIDS policy and programs in this country.” Both nominees responded positively about the importance of addressing HIV and the importance of having an HIV Strategy. The HELP Committee voted on the nominations on Wednesday. A video of the hearing and testimony by the nominees is available here.
Please contact NCSD’s Director of Policy and Communications, Stephanie Arnold Pang, with any questions or concerns.