POLICY BRIEFINGS


Senate HELP Committee Hearings on Mental Health


At last week’s Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) said that mental illness is a critical issue but that less than half of children with the diagnosis receive treatment, thus leading to too many suicides. He also said that the prison system serves as a “dumping ground” for the mentally ill. On a positive note, the witness from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) said that mental health research is “on the cusp of a revolution” that will allow for much earlier detection of brain disorders and help promote timely treatment. On point to the recent use of guns by the mentally ill to engage in mass killings, the NIMH witness testified that violent behavior among the mentally ill is rare, occurring in only about 5% of people diagnosed with mental illness. He also said that early detection and treatment of mental illness is necessary for positive outcomes. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Administrator said that the Administration is finalizing regulations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 and instructing state Medicaid directors that the law applies to Medicaid managed care programs. Senator Harkin said he would look for funding opportunities to increase mental health research and treatment and will push for the enactment of his legislation, the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America Act (S. 39), which aims to reduce health care costs by readjusting the national health care system to focus on prevention, wellness and health promotion.


Health Legislation Recently Introduced


H.R. 307 (HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE), bill to reauthorize certain programs under the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response, and for other purposes; ROGERS of Michigan; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Veterans’ Affairs, Jan. 18.

H.R. 309 (REGULATORY REVIEW), to require the periodic review and automatic termination of federal regulations; HULTGREN; jointly, to the committees on Oversight and Government Reform and the Judiciary, Jan. 18.

H.R. 315 (DRUGS), to provide for the placement of certain synthetic drugs on Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act; EMERSON; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary, Jan. 18. 

S. 39 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs by reorienting the nation’s health care system toward prevention, wellness, and health promotion; HARKIN; to the Committee on Finance, Jan. 22.

S. 40 (REFORM), to restore Americans’ individual liberty by striking the federal mandate to purchase insurance; HATCH; to the Committee on Finance, Jan. 22. 

S. 44 (PATIENT ACCESS), to improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system; PORTMAN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 22. 

S. 49 (VETERANS’ HEALTH), to amend Title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans in each of the 48 contiguous states are able to receive services in at least one full-service Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in the state or receive comparable services provided by contract in the state, and for other purposes; SHAHEEN; to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Jan. 22. 

S. 50 (ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH), to direct the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate and address cancer and disease clusters, including in infants and children; BOXER; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, Jan. 22. 

S. 53 (ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH), to authorize the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to award grants to individuals that may be affected by a reported disease cluster; BOXER; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, Jan. 22. 

H.R. 344 (ANTITRUST), to restore the application of the federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers; LYNCH; to the Committee on the Judiciary. 

H.R. 346 (ABORTION), to amend Title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to ensure that the coverage offered under multistate qualified health plans offered in exchanges is consistent with the federal abortion funding ban; NUNNELEE; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Jan. 22. 
 
S. 77 (MEDICARE), to amend Part D of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to authorize the secretary of health and human services to negotiate for lower prices for Medicare prescription drugs; FRANKEN; to the Committee on Finance, Jan. 23. 

S. 117 (MEDICARE), to amend Part D of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require the secretary of health and human services to negotiate covered Part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries; KLOBUCHAR; to the Committee on Finance, Jan. 23. 

H.R. 351 (REFORM), to repeal the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act providing for the Independent Payment Advisory Board; ROE of Tennessee; jointly, to the committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Rules, Jan. 23. 

H.R. 413 (MEDICARE), to eliminate the two-year delay in including oral-only ESRD-related drugs in the Medicare ESRD prospective payment system, as provided under Section 632(b)(1) of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012; WELCH; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Jan. 23. 

S. 133 (COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH), to protect all patients by prohibiting the use of data obtained from comparative effectiveness research to deny or delay coverage of items or services under federal health care programs and to ensure that comparative effectiveness research accounts for advancements in personalized medicine and differences in patient treatment response; ROBERTS; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24.

S. 135 (ABORTION), to amend Title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions, and for other purposes; VITTER; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24. 

S. 136 (STEM CELL RESEARCH), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a Federal income tax credit for certain stem cell research expenditures; VITTER; to the Committee on Finance, Jan. 24.

S. 137 (ABORTION), to amend the Public Health Service Act to prohibit certain abortion-related discrimination in governmental activities; VITTER; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24. 

S. 139 (ABORTION), to impose admitting privilege requirements with respect to physicians who perform abortions; VITTER; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24. 

S. 142 (ABORTION), to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds for abortions, and for other purposes; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Jan. 24. 

S. 143 (ABORTION), to prohibit discrimination and retaliation against individuals and health care entities that refuse to recommend, refer for, provide coverage for, pay for, provide, perform, assist, or participate in abortions; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24. 

S. 144 (PREGNANCY ASSISTANCE FUND), to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to authorize additional funding for the pregnancy assistance fund; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24.

S. 153 (MENTAL HEALTH), to amend Section 520J of the Public Health Service Act to authorize grants for mental health first aid training programs; BEGICH; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Jan. 24.

S. 154 (ABORTION), to amend Title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to ensure that the coverage offered under multistate qualified health plans offered in exchanges is consistent with the federal abortion funding ban; COBURN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Jan. 24.



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2018


 +  2017


 +  2016


 +  2015


 +  2014


 +  2013


 +  2012


 +  2011