Legislative Activity is Hot During Cold December Days
It may be chilly outside, but lawmakers are heating things up with a end-of-year flurry to move many must-pass legislative items, including important aging and health care policy issues, through both chambers and to the President's desk by the end of 2019. Read on for details.
Last week Senate Finance Committee leaders Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a health care bill that includes both permanent extension of the Medicaid Money Follows the Person Program (MFP) and spousal impoverishment protections for Medicaid HCBS waiver programs. That bill also includes a two-year extension for AAA, SHIP and ADRC funding for outreach and enrollment assistance to low-income Medicare beneficiaries. Stay tuned to n4a for updates and advocacy opportunities on each of those bipartisan proposals.
Also, we expect to share news soon about next steps for FY 2020 federal funding decisions, including for OAA as well as other aging programs. Appropriators announced a bipartisan deal last night, so details will emerge early next week. If Congress is able to move all 12 spending bills next week, it would remove the need for another continuing resolution (CR) after the current CR expires on December 20. Doing so would be a challenging task and only possible with strong bipartisan support and no last-minute wrenches, however, so we will keep you posted.
And we haven't given up on advancing Older Americans Act reauthorization this month, either! n4a staff are in near-daily touch with the staff of key OAA leaders in House and Senate and believe we'll see at least a Senate bill introduction in the final legislative week of the year.
It may be cold outside, but policy news is hot!
Craving more analysis and information on critical aging and health policy issues? Register now for the annual n4a Aging Policy Briefing and Capitol Hill Day, taking place March 17-18 in DC.