Welcome back everybody. As work continues on the Senate-version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), there's a flurry of activity that could impact those conversations. Today, the Trump Administration faces a deadline on how to proceed regarding cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) in the case now known as House v. Price. CSRs are the payments the government makes to insurers for reducing premiums for individuals with low incomes. The case has been on hold pending an appeal, allowing the payments to continue. The Administration could ask for another 90 days when they go before the U.S. Court of Appeals today, leaving in place the appeal and the payments. However, on Friday, POLITICO reported that President Trump told advisers he wants to end CSR payments. This potentially explosive issue is the one to watch today, and could shape the rest of the week if the Administration decides to halt the payments. Stay tuned.
On Wednesday, the long-awaited Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the House-passed AHCA will be released. While there has been chatter about the score of the AHCA changing so drastically that it no longer conforms to Senate budget reconciliation rules, we continue to lower expectations that the score will change significantly from the original -24M coverage loss and -$839B from Medicaid. Both these events are must watch this week and we will be providing plenty of coverage as they unfold.
THIS WEEK IN THE HOUSE
On Tuesday (5/23), the House Energy & Commerce Committee will host a hearing on the U.S. Public Health Response to the Zika Virus.
On Wednesday (5/24), the House Ways & Means Committee will host Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a hearing to discuss the Administration's FY 2018 budget.
THIS WEEK IN THE SENATE
On Thursday (5/25), the Senate Finance Committee will also hear from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to discuss budget proposals for the Department of Treasury and Tax Reform.
TRUMP BUDGET TO BE RELEASED THIS WEEK
On Tuesday, President Trump's first major budget proposal will be released. The Washington Post reports Trump's budget would cut more than $800B from Medicaid over 10 years. The Post also reported that it will propose changes to Social Security's Supplemental Security Income program, as well as changes to Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP).
White House budgets are released annually outlining its priorities as Congress works to pass a budget. The budget should get plenty of airtime this week especially with cuts that will be considered draconian. Ultimately it's up to Congress to decide how much to cut or where to increase spending. This will all be settled in October and beyond with the final spending bill for fiscal year 2018. Remember, the final spending bill for fiscal year 2017 was only passed a few weeks ago seven months into the fiscal year. We will provide coverage on the budget release should you have any questions or concerns.
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