Capitol Correspondence - 09.21.21

Budget Negotiations Move Back to Senate as House Energy & Commerce Committee Passes $190 Billion for Home and Community Based Services

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Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce marked up its Build Back Better legislation, which includes its recommendations for the budget resolution. Subtitle G of the legislation included a provision of $190 billion in funding for home- and community-based services (HCBS) through a seven-percent FMAP increase—the federal match percentage rate—for the Medicaid HCBS program. The committee passed Subtitle G by a vote of 30-27.

The committee failed to pass Subtitle E, the section relating to prescription drug pricing. The drug pricing reform provision is critical to funding the health policy priorities in the broader $3.5 trillion reconciliation package because it is estimated to generate as much as $700 billion in projected savings over a decade. Although the House Ways and Means Committee did pass the drug pricing reform legislation, its failure in the Energy and Commerce Committee signals a divide among members of Congress over the provision’s inclusion and threatens to jeopardize the bill’s passage.

The House is not scheduled to move the reconciliation bill forward this week, meaning that the House will not be able to meet its self-imposed deadline to vote on the reconciliation bill—along with the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure legislation—by September 27. At this time, the future of both bills remains uncertain.

Negotiations over reconciliation are now taking place in the Senate. ANCOR will continue to advocate for full funding for Medicaid HCBS in the Senate, and will continue to update ANCOR members on opportunities to take action to advance this legislation.