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Healthcare Today - June 28, 2024


House Appropriators Seek HHS Cuts in FY2025 Appropriations Bill: According to an official release, the House Appropriations Committee’s FY2025 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill would see a 7 percent cut for HHS. The spending plan includes $107 billion for HHS — $14 billion less than what President Joe Biden has asked for in 2025, and an $8.5 billion cut from the 2024 budget. The legislation cuts CDC funding by 22 percent, but keeps NIH funding at $48 billion. The bill also includes the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used for abortion.

House Ways and Means Committee Holds Health Markup: On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee held a markup of health legislation, headlined by the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act that would allow Medicare to cover of obesity drugs, but only for those who were already taking the medications. The Committee also advanced the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, authorizing Medicare coverage of multi-cancer early detection tests.  

House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on Value-Based Care: On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on issues and potential solutions for value-based care models. Several legislators from both sides of the aisle discussed the shortfall in rural providers participating in value-based care models, while panelists pointed to flawed CMS reimbursement as a chief reason for high healthcare costs and waning primary care availability.

Senate Finance Chair Wyden Calls on CMS to Enforce PBM Rules: On Wednesday, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote a letter to CMS calling on the Centers to better enforce Medicare Part D program requirements for PBMs. Sen. Wyden urged CMS to ensure that PBMs reimburse pharmacies at a minimum of the cost to acquire and dispense covered prescription drugs, and more quickly review complaints about PBM contracting practices under Part D.

CDC Sets New Recommendations for COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines: On Thursday, the CDC announced it is updating their recommendations for COVID and flu vaccines for this fall and winter. The CDC said it now recommends everyone ages six months and older receive an updated COVID vaccine to protect against the virus. They also recommend a new dose of flu vaccination.

US Surgeon General Declares Gun Violence a Public Health Emergency: On Tuesday, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by the fast-growing number of injuries and deaths involving firearms in the country. In addition to new regulations, Dr. Murthy called for an increase on gun violence research and for the health system to promote and educate patients about gun safety.

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