Health

$1.7 trillion spending bill gains support, some health groups criticize

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill, drawing mixed reactions from health industry associations.

The legislation passed by the Senate on Thursday includes a range of health policy adjustments that range from easing Medicare cuts to guaranteeing 12 months of continuous eligibility for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance children. It also extends the telemedicine phase-out enacted under the CARES Act in 2020 until December 31, 2024. He heads to President Joe Biden’s desk, where he said he would sign it into law.

Here are some statements from associations.

  • “We applaud the adoption by Congress of a consolidated package that includes key Medicaid and CHIP policies that will strengthen health care coverage for low- and middle-income individuals and families,” said the national coalition representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, Association for Public Plans. Children’s Hospital Association, Community Catalyst, Families USA, First Focus for Children, and National Mental Illness Alliance. These policies include 12 months of continuous eligibility for children covered by Medicaid and CHIP, a permanent extension of the State’s ability to provide 12 months of postnatal coverage for those enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, a two-year extension of funding for CHIP and Medicaid, and CHIP coverage. screening, diagnosis, referral and coordination of care for juveniles in detention 30 days prior to their release.
  • “The provisions of the permanent eligibility bill will mean that low-income parents can look for extra work without worrying about losing their children’s health insurance, and will help hundreds of thousands of children get needed checkups or specialized care. visits they would otherwise have missed,” the Public Plans Association said.
  • “By making safer, FDA-approved, non-opioid pain management options more accessible, Congress is empowering patients and families to work with their providers to have choices in how they manage their pain,” said Chris Fox, executive director of Voices for. Opioid-Free Choice Coalition. The NOPAIN Act, which was included in the spending bill, will expand patient and provider access to FDA-approved non-opioid pain relief in outpatient surgical facilities starting in 2025 and will require a report to Congress on limitations, gaps, barriers to access, or reimbursement deficit, the coalition said.
  • “Now that telehealth is often proving to be a vital and widely valued option for millions of Americans, our congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle have taken action to ensure these services remain in place for the next two years as we seek ongoing state and federal legislation,” said Kyle Zebley, senior vice president of public policy for the American Telemedicine Association.
  • “While the Comprehensive Spending Package softens the 6.5% reduction in Medicare payments originally planned for 2023, physicians are still facing a 2% reduction in the Medicare conversion rate in 2023. Implementing these cuts threatens the health promises made to older people and, if not corrected, will reduce access to timely care for many,” said Dr. Tochi Iroku-Malize, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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