Week ahead: Supreme Court announces review of healthcare challenges

Also Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Oversight panel does its part to keep up the pressure on the healthcare law by examining whether its small-business tax credits are providing meaningful help for employers to purchase insurance for their workers. The hearing comes after a Treasury report found that only 228,000 businesses had applied for the credits as of mid-May, far fewer than the 4 million believed to be eligible.

In the Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday holds a hearing on the approval process for medical devices. Congress is getting ready to reauthorize the user fees that pay for the medical device regulators amid industry criticism that the current process is too burdensome. 

Both chambers will be tackling spending measures next week as well. The first “minibus” spending package, which includes spending for the Food and Drug Administration, is due out of a conference committee on Monday to allow time for the House and Senate to vote on it by the end of the week. 

Going into the penultimate week before its Thanksgiving deadline, the deficit-cutting supercommittee does not have any scheduled meetings, but closed-door negotiations in small groups will continue throughout the week. 

Off Capitol Hill, the American Medical Association holds its interim House of Delegates meeting through Tuesday in New Orleans. The Chamber of Commerce on Monday hosts the president and CEO of the BlueCross BlueShield Association for a panel discussion on efforts to transform the healthcare system.