Congressional Update, Looking to May

January 27, 2020

Congress has acted on major priorities over the past two months, including a fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bill, temporary extensions of health care programs, trade agreements, and impeachment. Because impeachment proceedings will likely consume the Senate in the coming weeks, it remains unclear what both bodies of Congress will prioritize going forward. Information on GNYHA’s legislative priorities for the coming month can be found in the attached “GNYHA Winter 2020 Federal Legislative Priorities” update.

Here’s how we expect health care legislation to play out in the rest of the 116th Congress:

The FY 2020 spending bill included a temporary health care extenders package that is in effect until May 22. This package included a brief delay of the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding cuts.

Congress could use this May 22 deadline, when they are expected to enact longer-term extensions and delays, as a vehicle for other health care proposals, such as legislation to address prescription drug prices and surprise medical bills.

GNYHA will work to ensure that our legislative priorities are included in this upcoming health care package. Our top priorities will be to ensure that the Medicaid DSH cuts are eliminated for at least two years, and that Congress doesn’t use this package as an opportunity to enact dangerous surprise billing legislation that amounts to government rate-setting. We also will advocate for increasing outdated graduate medical education (GME) caps, specifically by enacting the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 (S. 2892/H.R. 3414) and ensuring that Congress doesn’t enact provider cuts.

President Donald Trump is expected to release his FY 2021 budget blueprint in early February, which will likely include proposed cuts to hospitals and health care programs. GNYHA will actively oppose any dangerous proposals. We will keep our members apprised of any relevant developments on Capitol Hill.

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