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

Perspective
As a politically practical matter, we need to focus on finding consensus to improve the system we have rather than subject the nation to yet another polarizing…
Headline
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released an updated tool for viewing and comparing opioid prescribing rates over time and across regions.
Headline
The National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic last week held a webinar on the work it will undertake over the…
Headline
National health expenditures are projected to grow an average 5.5 percent annually during 2018-2027, outpacing average projected growth in gross domestic…
Headline
National hospital organizations, including the AHA, today urged congressional leaders to delay the start of the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts…
Headline
The AHA today urged the Centers for Medicare…