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Some Democratic senators told HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra during committee hearings this week they were pleased to see large increases in funding to tackle opioid and substance use disorder in the fiscal 2022 budget request, but they asked for additional support on funding cliffs and opioid production solutions.

Democrats are considering adding Medicare drug price negotiation to the president’s American Families Plan and using budget reconciliation to pass it separately from the infrastructure bill, if a bipartisan deal is struck on infrastructure, drug and consumer lobbyists said.

The Biden administration’s proposed budget goes against the last six years of precedent by not increasing the children’s hospital graduate medical education levels from this year’s enacted budget, Senate Appropriations subcommittee on HHS ranking Republican Roy Blunt (MO) said during a budget hearing Wednesday (June 9).

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock told lawmakers Thursday (June 10) that FDA intends to have its domestic facility inspection program upgraded and fully running again by the end of summer 2021 for the first time since inspections were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA released the final version of its rule modernizing the standard of identity for yogurt on Wednesday (June 9) after HHS highlighted the rule as high priority in its semi-annual regulatory agenda.

Congress should consider bipartisan policies to bolster home- and community-based services, Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Mike Crapo (ID) said during a committee hearing on the HHS fiscal 2022 budget Thursday (June 10), but he is concerned that President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion may come with labor reforms that could further harm the inpatient caregiving workforce.

The first part of the highly anticipated rulemaking on the surprise billing legislation enacted late last year is now under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), surprising some stakeholders who expected CMS might miss early deadlines.

Home- and community-based care stakeholders remain optimistic that Congress will pass President Joe Biden’s proposal to spend $400 billion on Medicaid home care as the White House shifts its infrastructure talks toward reaching a deal with a bipartisan group of senators that reportedly includes Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), an HCBS supporter, and others who have backed home care before.