Week ahead: Congress to consider health nominee

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Obama’s other senior health officials will return to Capitol Hill next week to testify on their 2014 budget requests.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify Wednesday on her department’s request before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction of her agency.

The budget for health programs at the Pentagon will receive attention the same day from the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense.

Elsewhere, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will consider the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the law’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which manages enactment of new rules for private health insurance.

The full House will also weigh a GOP bill to strengthen ObamaCare's high-risk pools starting Wednesday.

Rounding out Wednesday’s schedule, the Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing to asses the Obama administration’s national plan to fight Alzheimer’s disease, which was announced last May.

Besides approving Tavenner, the Senate Finance panel will hold a hearing Tuesday on the U.S. child welfare system, featuring testimony from author and film director Antwone Fisher.

Lawmakers will discuss successful primary care programs and the looming U.S. doctor shortage in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging that day.

The House will round out the rest of the week with six more hearings related to healthcare and Social Security.

On Thursday, Sebelius will appear before the House Appropriations subcommittee on HHS to talk about her budget request, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials will discuss the safety of the nation’s drug supply at the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health.

Also on Thursday, the Oversight subcommittee that governs healthcare will discuss the lack of data on prices, medical mistakes and patient outcomes in U.S. medicine.

Friday concludes the week’s appearances from Obama administration health officials — FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is scheduled to join the House Appropriations subcommittee on her agency to talk about the 2014 budget.

The Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight will return its focus to mental health in the United States with an end-of-week hearing on the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act and its privacy rules.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security will finish the week by discussing the challenges facing the program and its leaders.