In Modern Healthcare, TRP’s McCarthy Offers Context on Surprise Billing Debate

In an article for Modern Healthcare, TRP Senior Vice President Shea McCarthy shared his insight on the current state of the push for action on surprise billing as the negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package continue. The article highlighted a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that argues Congress should act on surprise bills, as the COVID-19 and transparency-related measures the administration has pushed are not sufficient. In discussing this report, McCarthy astutely pointed out that by not favoring a specific legislative proposal, the Trump administration is essentially not supporting any of the three main approaches that have emerged in Congress thus far. “Instead, the latest report from HHS has simply added more confusion to the debate on how to address this politically sensitive issue,” said McCarthy.

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TRP Health Policy Report (7/27)

Capitol Hill Update

Senate Republicans are poised to officially introduce their ‘CARES 2.0’ proposal this week after delaying its rollout due to lingering debates over certain policy issues. While Senators reached an “agreement in principle” last week according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), disagreements over the unemployment insurance and stimulus payment pieces pushed the intraparty negotiations into the weekend. Once the bill is officially introduced, negotiations between Senate Republicans, House Democrats, and the Trump administration will begin in earnest, and the sides will need to bridge deep divides over the size and scope of the next COVID-19 relief bill. If the parties struggle to clinch an agreement, it’s likely that lawmakers could try to pass smaller bills that address pressing areas of need such as extending unemployment insurance and the moratorium on housing evictions. For more details on the Senate GOP’s forthcoming proposal, click here for a draft summary obtained by TRP.

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Health Policy Report (7/20)

Capitol Hill Update

House and Senate lawmakers will return to action this week to begin a two-week legislative blitz to close out the month of July before leaving for the August district work period. Negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package are expected to begin in earnest once Members return, as it is widely expected that Senate Republicans will introduce an opening offer proposal later in the week. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) forthcoming proposal is expected to focus on health care, jobs, reopening schools and universities, and liability protections. While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed a willingness to get something done on the next relief package, it remains to be seen whether the parties can clinch a bipartisan agreement given the deep policy divides over the size and scope of the next COVID-19 bill.

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Health Policy Report (7/13)

Capitol Hill Update

No votes are currently scheduled in Congress this week, but Members on the House Appropriations Committee are set to resume their full committee markups of fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills. Appropriators will take up the spending bills for: (1) Energy-Water Development (report) and Labor-HHS-Education (report) today (2) DefenseCommerce-Justice-Science (CJS), and Transportation-HUD tomorrow; and (3) Homeland Security and Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) on Wednesday. House floor action on the funding bills that clear the full committee is expected to occur prior to the end of the month. Meanwhile, the Senate’s appropriations process remains gridlocked over certain poison pill amendments, and immediate next steps remain unclear. 

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Health Policy Report (7/6)

Capitol Hill Update

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application process has officially been reopened, thanks to swift action by Congress last week. House and Senate lawmakers were able to clinch unanimous consent agreements on a bill that that would reopen the application process for the roughly $134 billion remaining in the signature small business rescue program, pushing the application deadline from June 30 to August 18. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law over the weekend, and lawmakers are already eyeing additional PPP reforms in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. 

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