Health and Human Services Newsletter | Feb. 2019





From Congress

02/12/2019 – In ongoing efforts to address prescription drug prices, the House Ways and Means Committee held another hearing with a variety of health care and academic stakeholders to addressing rising prescription drug prices and what can be done to lower them.

02/13/2019 – Following up on campaign promises to reverse changes made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the current administration, democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sponsored several pieces of legislation and a hearing. Some of the proposed changes include: restoring funding for outreach and education for consumers enrolling in ACA marketplace plans and reversing the finalized rule on Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance Plans.

02/13/2019 – Want to learn more about what may be ahead in terms of health care policy in Congress? Click here for NCSL’s recent blog on this topic.

From the Administration

02/2019 – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released their CMS and Children’s Health Insurance Program  Scorecard. The scorecard was created to report on measures in: State Health System Performance, State Administrative Accountability and Federal Administrative Accountability. States can report scorecard measures on a voluntarily basis.

2/22/19 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released their final rule on Title X Family Planning Programs Funding. The final rule can be found here.

From The States

02/16/2019 – Since Maine’s Medicaid expansion opened in January, 6,200 qualified Maine residents have become enrolled. The state is working with a non-profit group, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, to enroll more people into the expanded program.

02/21/2019 – A number of states have been passing laws that require physicians to “co-prescribe” when writing prescriptions for painkillers to patients. In California, Virginia, Arizona, Ohio Washington, Vermont and Rhode Island physicians that are writing prescriptions for patients with serious pain must also give them a prescription for naloxone. This is specifically for patients who receive large doses of opioids, suffer from sleeping disorders or have a history of addiction. Naloxone has increasingly been prescribed to patients receiving strong painkillers, and more communities are providing training to individuals on how to administer naloxone to someone that is overdosing.


Spotlight On:

02/14/2019 – NCSL recently published a policy brief on maternal depression and the effects on mothers, infants and toddlers. Read the full brief here.

NCSL created a Maternal and Child Health Database that tracks enacted legislation from all 50-states and the territories on fourteen topics related to maternal and child health. The database is open to the public and can be found here.

Funding Announcements

02/15/2019 – The U.S. Department of Treasury announced a new grant opportunity for state and local governments interested in investing in social determinants of health through paid for success models. More information on this funding opportunity can be found here.

NCSL's Advocacy in Washington

NCSL's Washington staff advocate Congress, the White House, and federal agencies on behalf of state legislatures in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.

NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.