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CCTS Newsletter | July 23, 2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kimberly Durante
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CCTS Newsletter

Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen

July 19, 2019

The possibility of progress in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations emerged when the White House indicated a need to work with Congress to increase the nation’s debt limit. The legislative package that is currently being negotiated would include both debt ceiling relief and a budget caps deal. Once a budget caps deal is finalized, the Senate will have the top-line funding numbers that they have been waiting on to markup their twelve outstanding spending bills. The House has largely completed its appropriations work and advanced meaningful funding increases for medical research and patient care programs (with the notable exception of CTSAs).

With the August congressional recess fast-approaching, legislators have been working to craft a large healthcare package. The vehicle in the Senate is the Lower Healthcare Costs Act (S. 1895), which has been passed by the “HELP” Committee and includes relief from surprise medical billing and related reforms. The Senate Finance Committee is currently working on its own health priorities to merge with a final package (likely) including relief from the medical device tax and related taxing/spending issues.

On the House side, both the Energy & Commerce Committee and the Ways & Means Committee have marked up a variety of healthcare bills. Most notably, there are currently two proposals moving forward to reauthorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a three-year reauthorization and a seven-year reauthorization. The House also recently passed a repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on premium health plans.

With Senators and Representative in their communities for the upcoming recess, August is an excellent time to meet with them locally or invite them to visit your institution. This would also be an ideal time to advocate for the CTSA program and the maintenance of its line-item congressional funding (with a proportional funding increase for FY 2020).