Federal Relations


January 21, 2018

Monday Noon

The Senate has scheduled a vote on a CR to reopen the government for Monday at noon. The CR will reportedly be the same as the previous CR, funding CHIP and eliminating the Cadillac tax, but it will not address DACA or Dreamers. To clarify, negotiations remain ongoing, and this is not a deal. Rather, it…

January 20, 2018

Shut Down

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held a procedural vote, known as a cloture vote, to end debate and move on to voting with the the four-week continuing resolution (CR) that the House passed earlier this week. After holding the vote open for over an hour, the measure failed to receive the 60 votes needed…

January 18, 2018

House Passes CR

The House voted 230 – 197 to approve a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through February 16 and renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. It does not include any immigration provisions to address DACA, Dreamers, or the border. The measure goes on to the Senate.

November 13, 2017

New Nominee to Lead HHS Named

The Trump Administration announced today that it intends to nominate Alex Azar as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Azar served at HHS under the George W. Bush Administration from 2001 to 2007, first as general counsel and deputy secretary.  He served in senior leadership roles at Lilly USA between 2007 and…

October 17, 2017

Marino Out as Drug Czar

A Washington Post/“60 Minutes” investigation, which aired this weekend, examined Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) efforts to guide legislation that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise. Marino was the Administration’s nominee for the position of Drug Czar. He has withdrawn his name from consideration. President Trump…

October 13, 2017

Administration to Cut Health Insurance Subsidies

Late Thursday, President Trump announced the Administration will no longer pay subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs of low-income people. These plans were disclosed hours after the President issued an executive action yesterday to change the nation’s insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers. The…

October 12, 2017

Executive Order on Health Care Issued

Today, President Donald Trump issued a presidential directive to broaden the development of business association health plans, ease restrictions on short-term medical insurance and expand employer health care reimbursement accounts. The memorandum starts the rulemaking process, which will forge the details of the plans’ requirements. The White House is attempting to expand access to health insurance policies…

October 5, 2017

New Deputy Secretary at HHS

Eric Hargan was officially confirmed by the Senate on a 57-38 vote yesterday afternoon. Hargan’s confirmation comes at a crucial time for HHS, which has relied on career staffer Don Wright to lead the agency since Tom Price resigned as secretary on Friday. Secretary Price’s recent exit helped accelerate the consideration of HHS nominees. Hargan will…

October 2, 2017

Graham-Cassidy Still Getting Scored

Despite not moving forward with consideration, the Congressional Budget Office is still expected score the Graham-Cassidy legislation on potential impact. Stay tuned.

July 28, 2017

Healthcare Pulled from Senate Floor as “Skinny Repeal” Fails

In a dramatic vote late last night/early this morning, the Senate defeated by a vote of 49-51 the “skinny” repeal bill. In the end, Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were joined by John McCain in siding with the Democrats to bring down the bill.  It was McCain who cast the deciding vote. It was…

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