The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services’ fiscal year 2019 budget request, at which HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified. The non-binding budget request proposes hundreds of billions of dollars in reductions to Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years, as well as a number of provisions related to drug pricing, opioids and other health-related issues. In his opening remarks, Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said the committee has developed “consensus solutions” on health care and is “eager to work with the Trump administration to build on them wherever possible,” including “taking action to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.” Committee members also urged aggressive action to address the opioid crisis, and Democrats criticized the proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) noted that the budget request “cuts more than $200 billion in payments to hospitals,” threatening additional hospital closures and the jobs they provide. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Tom Rice (R-SC) also expressed concern about rural hospital closures. “We have consistently asked rural hospitals to do more with less,” Sewell said. “As a result, 83 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 across the country.”

Related News Articles

Action Alert
Member
The Department of Homeland Security’s recent proposed rule could limit legal immigrants’ future immigration status based on their receipt of public
Special Bulletin
Member
Special Bulletin on CMS’s Nov. 26 proposed rule aimed at lowering drug prices for beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Part D programs.
Letter
The AHA urges the Health Resources and Services Administration to meet the Jan. 1 effective date it has proposed for its final rule on drug ceiling prices and…
Special Bulletin
Member
The CMS, Nov. 8 released a proposed rule that would make changes to the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) managed care regulations and,…
Webinar Recordings
Member
Project SHOUT (Support for Hospital Opioid Use Treatment): Zuckerberg San Francisco General, San Francisco, CA Held N
Case Studies
Overview In May 2014, the Ohio Governor’s Office of Health Transformation awarded MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland $395,170 in gra