HHS Standing Committee Newsletter | Feb. 15 Edition


HHS Newsletter

From Congress

House Education and Labor Committee Introduces Bipartisan Child Welfare Legislation| Jan. 25, 2021

In a recent press release the House committee announced the introduction of The Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which builds on the previously passed law Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides funds to states to improve child protective services. 

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Improving Vaccinations and Testing | Feb. 3, 2021

The Subcommittee on Health within the Committee on Energy and Commerce heard from public health experts Dr. Luciana Borio, Greg Burel, former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt, and Dr. Julie Morita. Recommendations from the witnesses included revitalizing the U.S’s public health data management and collection infrastructure, incentivizing sustained domestic manufacturing of medical supplies to ensure long-term supply, and significant federal cooperation and investment in state and local health systems.

House Education and Labor Committee Release COVID-19 Provisions for Reconciliation Package| Feb. 10, 2021

In a recent announcement the House Education and Labor Committee release their provisions for the full reconciliation package Congress is working on. Their language includes: $39 billion in funding through the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $1 billion for Head Start, $350 million for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) program, and more. For a fact sheet about the legislation, read more here.

From the Administration

HHS Opens Marketplace Special Enrollment Period| Jan. 28, 2021

Through an executive order from the administration, HHS and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a Special Enrollment Period  for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

PREP Act Declaration to Increase Workforce| Jan. 28, 2021

The HHS issued a fifth amendment to the declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) that will add additional categories of qualified persons authorize to prescribe, dispense and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

DOD Purchases COVID-19 At-Home Tests | Feb. 1, 2021

The department, in coordination with the HHS, awarded $231.8 million to Ellume to purchase 8.5 million rapid COVID-19 tests that can be taken at home without a prescription.

Administration of Children and Families (ACF) Awards $10 million in Child Care Funds | Feb. 3, 2021

The ACF awarded nearly $10 million in supplemental Child Care and Development Funds to states, territories and tribes to address the needs of childcare providers and families. Funds can be used for a range of activities. More information on these funds can be found here.

FDA Advisory Committee to Discuss Vaccine Candidate | Feb. 4, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Feb. 26, 2021. They will discuss the request for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Janseen Biotech. The agency will provide background materials and a roster at least two business days prior to the meeting. The meeting will also livestream and webcast from the FDA’s website.

CDC Releases Report on Prevalence of Mental Health Conditions Among Adults During Pandemic| Feb. 5, 2021

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report was released and looks at racial and ethnic disparities in the prevalence of stress and worry, mental health conditions and increased substance use among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Use Authorization Approved for Treatment of COVID-19 | Feb. 9, 2021

The FDA has granted an EUA for Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibodies that can be administered together for the treatment of COVID-19.  The treatment can be used for mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, younger patients 12 years of age or older and those who are 65 years of age or older and have certain chronic conditions.

Spotlight on

  • As part of the large omnibus appropriations and COVID-19 relief package Congress passed at the end of 2020, there was language included around surprise medical billing. To learn more about the specifics of these provisions, you can read NCSL’s magazine article "Congress Passes Surprise Medical Billing Legislation."

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