AAHC supports the interests of member institutions at the Federal Government level, including the Administration and Federal agencies and the Congress. Our goal is to represent academic health centers at the strategic level of policy discussions and to complement and supplement our members’ Washington, DC- based government relations programs.
March 23, 2017
Weekly Top News: Trump’s Budget Hits and New Opioid Hearing
President Trump released the Administration’s long-awaited budget recommendations last week, garnering an assortment of positive and negative reactions from both sides of the aisle. With respect to healthcare, the cuts are extensive, including a $5.8 billion cut from NIH which could effectively suspend any new grant making; elimination of $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs; and a reduction in the overall HHS budget of $15.1 billion, a 17.9 percent decrease...
March 16, 2017
Weekly Top News: Trump Names FDA Nominee
This week, President Trump named Dr. Scott Gottlieb to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Gottlieb is a graduate of, and completed his residency in internal medicine at, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He was a practicing physician and hospitalist for many years and served in government in various capacities, including as Senior Advisor for Medical Technology, Director of Medical Policy Development, and Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs at the FDA. He also served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)...
March 09, 2017
Weekly Top News: Energy & Commerce Releases Report on ACA
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a new report this week entitled, “Obamacare Oversight: 112-114th Congress” that catalogues the numerous oversight hearings and reviews conducted about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To lay the foundation for repeal and replacing the ACA, the Committee walks through 31 oversight hearings including over 100 witnesses and several investigative reports completed by the Committee over the last few years. Highlights from these proceedings include...
March 02, 2017
Weekly Top News: Republican ACA Draft Out; FDA User Fee Reauthorization Efforts Begin
Draft legislation currently being considered by Republicans to reform the ACA has been circulating around Washington this past week. As expected, the draft bill addresses health savings accounts, individual subsidies, taxes, and overall modifications to the Medicaid system. We expect many changes as this or other bills move forward. The draft version is posted for members on the AAHC website, and we will continue to update the site as future versions arise...
February 23, 2017
Weekly Top News: Senate Confirmation Hearings For CMS Nominee
President Trump’s nomination for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee last week for confirmation hearings and appears to have successfully made it through this initial leg of the process...
February 16, 2017
Weekly Top News: Congress To Consider Trump's Pick For CMS
President Trump recently nominated Seema Verma, MPH, as his pick to be the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ms. Verma will be leaving her current role as the President and Founder of a healthcare policy firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana, to take the position if confirmed...
February 09, 2017
Weekly Top News: Initial Themes From The Trump Administration
In his first few weeks in office, President Trump has issued a number of Executive Orders, quickly instituting several policy changes central to his campaign platform. One of the first Executive Orders signed by the President within hours of his swearing-in ceremony began the process for repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)...
February 02, 2017
Weekly Top News: House Energy And Commerce Committee Off To A Strong Start
Inauguration day is finally upon us, with Donald Trump being sworn in tomorrow on Capitol Hill. At this time, Congressional committees have been named, agendas are beiThe House Energy and Commerce Committee is off to a strong start in the new Congress, holding several initial hearings on healthcare issues. On January 31, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled “Medicaid Oversight: Existing Problems and Ways to Strengthen the Program.” At the hearing, the Subcommittee reviewed the findings of reports issued by the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General that presented evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicaid program. Witnesses included Carolyn L. Yocom, Director, Health Care, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Ann Maxwell, Assistant inspector general, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Paul Howard, senior fellow, director of health policy, The Manhattan Institute; Josh Archambault, senior fellow, The Foundation for Government Accountability; and Timothy M. Westmoreland, professor from practice and senior scholar in health law, Georgetown University Law Center...
January 19, 2017
Weekly Top News: President Trump Inauguration; ACA; HHS Secretary Hearing
Inauguration day is finally upon us, with Donald Trump being sworn in tomorrow on Capitol Hill. At this time, Congressional committees have been named, agendas are being set, and hearings have begun in the new Congress. Healthcare has been at the center of the President-elect’s remarks for weeks, and Congress has already started to take action to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a 227 to 197 vote in the House and a 51 to 48 vote in the Senate to approve a budget resolution providing a blueprint for future spending...
January 12, 2017
Weekly Top News: NIH Head Collins To Step Down; E&C Health Subcommittee Members Named
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2009, will likely be stepping down after January 20. Dr. Collins submitted his letter of resignation earlier in December pursuant to protocol for all Senate-approved political appointees, despite expressing a willingness to stay on in the post and letters from a number of Republican Senators requesting the incoming Trump Administration keep him on...
January 05, 2017
Weekly Top News: New Congress, Cabinet Confirmations To Begin
The 115th Congress has been gaveled into session. The House convened at noon Tuesday, with 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats, including 52 new Representatives. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was re-elected Speaker of the House...
December 22, 2016
Weekly Top News: MACPAC Recommendations For The New Congress And Administration
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released a package of recommendations last week aimed at the new Congress and the Trump Administration for continued funding and support for Medicaid and states’ Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MACPAC is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the states regarding the Federal and state CHIP programs. Highlights of the recommendations include...
December 15, 2016
Weekly Top News: Cures Passes -- Includes Murphy Mental Health Bill
President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures legislation into law in a ceremony this week after passage by the Senate with a 94 to 5 vote. Heralded by many mental health advocates, the bill pulled in the bulk of the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016,” sponsored by Rep. Chris Murphy (R-PA) and passed by the House last July. The law creates the position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to take over the responsibilities of the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and extends and expands certain mental health treatment and training programs. Main provisions of the bill include...
December 08, 2016
Weekly Top News: Cures Awaits Signature; Congressional Chairs Announced
Following passage in the House last week, the 21st Century Cures package was approved by the Senate this week, and will now move to the President for signature. A handful of Democrats continued to object to the legislation up to the end because the funding mechanism for NIH is not mandatory and will have to go through the appropriations process each year. Many also remained concerned about the streamlining of FDA processes for drug trials and medical devices. The final bill includes $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic and $4.8 billion in NIH funding, which includes funding for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative...
December 01, 2016
Weekly Top News: Lead HHS And CMS Appointments Announced; 21st Century Cures Moves Ahead
President-elect Trump this week continued to announce his picks for top posts in the new Administration, including his choice of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Rep. Price will likely be the point person for the Administration’s reform of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). An orthopedic surgeon, Rep. Price has long been an advocate of ACA repeal and was one of the first Republicans to present alternatives during the original ACA discussions before passage. To take the post, Rep. Price will be vacating Chair of the House Budget Committee...
November 10, 2016
weekly Top News: Surprise Trump Victury, Relevant Committees Largely Left Unchanged
The unexpected victory of Donald Trump took many in Washington (and elsewhere) by surprise. With little detail provided for his policy objectives beyond repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it may be some time before we understand what impact the new President will have on healthcare policy...
November 03, 2016
Weekly Top News: Potential Health Legislation Delays In Lame Duck Congress
Progress on legislative issues of interest may be stalled in the lame duck Congress as a result of last-minute lobbying by key interest groups. One group sent a letter to Senate leadership last week pushing to delay enactment of the 21st Century Cures legislation. The group making the request is comprised of 13 separate national associations--including Doctors for America, the Center for Medicare Advocacy Inc., the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Alliance for Retired Americans. Citing concerns over patient safety due to the bill’s streamlining of the Food and Drug Administration’s drug evaluation processes and the lack of drug price controls, the group is advocating that leaders start afresh with new legislation in the next Congress...
October 27, 2016
Weekly Top News: House Appropriatioins Reshuffle; NIH Funding Push
Regardless of who wins the Presidential and Congressional elections, leadership posts on many committees will be reshuffled in both houses of Congress. In the House of Representatives, where it seems likely that the Republicans will maintain a majority, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), current Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, will be running to chair the full House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) may also throw in his hat, having been approached by a number of conservative colleagues to run for the post. It is expected that Frelinghuysen will prevail, however, given his seniority over Aderholt...