The House Energy and Commerce committee will mark up a major mental health reform bill next Wednesday, a significant step forward for the long-delayed legislation.
The Committee has been working for months to make changes to the legislation from Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) to try to smooth over controversial areas. Democrats are now signaling that they could support the new bill after a number of changes.
"This draft is an improvement over the mental health care bill that was marked-up in the Health Subcommittee last year," said a committee Democratic spokesman. http://bit.ly/1TU5Jke
Senate labor-HHS spending bill is actually bipartisan
The Senate took the first step Tuesday in getting its most contentious appropriations bill across the finish line – without touching ObamaCare.
The $162 billion bill was approved Tuesday by the Senate Appropriation Committee's labor, health and human services subcommittee. It now heads to the full committee on Thursday.
The labor-HHS bill is among the toughest for congressional appropriators each year. But for 2017, the measure avoids contentious partisan issues that had the potential to become landmines for the legislation this year. In the bill: $2 billion more for NIH, about $200 million more for opioids, and $100 million more for precision medicine: http://bit.ly/1UdeqtF
AHIP changes up membership dues
America's Health Insurance Plans quietly announced its first "major restructuring" of its membership dues since 2003.
The group announced the change at the bottom of a statement announcing its new chairmen, without including details. A spokeswoman for AHIP said in an email that the structure "accounts and reflects the changes in the industry" since 2003, when the group was formed as the result of a merger.
The lobby's two next chairmen will be Anthem CEO Joseph Swedis for 2017 and Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson for 2018. http://bit.ly/1t6RWjz
House approves hospital bill
The bipartisan bill is intended to protect hospitals with outpatient centers that were hit with fees in a recent Medicare rule.
Democratic Rep. Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert McDermottSondland has 'no intention of resigning,' associate says Three women accuse Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct Portland hotel chain founded by Trump ambassador says boycott is attack on employees MORE (D-Wash.), who led the bill along with Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), said the bill fixes problems for outpatient centers as well as cancer hospitals "in a narrowly tailored way."
It would also add beds for long-term care hospitals, extend a rural hospital demonstration and delay the administration's authority to terminate certain Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts.
Senate Dems concerned about Zika risk for troops
Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-Wash.) led 21 Senate Democrats in writing to the Departments of State and Defense about ways to protect troops from Zika, and criticizing Republican "foot-dragging" on funding to fight the virus. Read the letter: http://1.usa.gov/25KKiK7
Lead watch in D.C.
Cool website alert: The city's water agency published an interactive tool that shows which D.C. homes and buildings are using copper pipes – and which ones still have lead. Gray dots mean lead.
Most of the data comes from plumbing records, service installation, and maintenance activity. Check out the site here: http://bit.ly/1UnWIzz
ON TAP TOMORROW:
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of a bill on the nation's public health emergency responses at 2 p.m.
The health panel of the House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on Medicare reforms at 2 p.m.
WHAT WE'RE READING
The CEO of Valeant on Tuesday again downsized the company's 2016 forecasts, causing stocks to plummet. (Reuters).
The nation's anti-drug official warned at a Senate panel on Tuesday that synthetic opioids like fentanyl pose an "unprecedented" threat for the country (Reuters)
Olympic officials are trying to reassure athletes about the risks of Zika virus (NBC News)
IN THE STATES
Planned Parenthood seeks to block Medicaid cutoff in Kansas (Associated Press)
Hospitals in Maryland are blasting the state's proposed rate increase as too low (Associated Press)
Under federal law, states can't regulate air ambulances, which can cost as much as $80,000 for some patients (Governing Magazine)
New Hampshire is beginning a top-to-bottom review of children's mental health services, including how the services are handled in schools (New Hampshire Public Radio)
ICYMI FROM THE HILL:
House Democrats are calling for an investigation into whether Republicans leaked confidential documents on abortion clinics and providers. http://bit.ly/1rc45T5
NBC's "Today" host Savannah Guthrie is skipping the Olympics due to Zika concerns. http://bit.ly/24xjfzi