Capitol Correspondence - 05.28.24

Congressional Committee Roundup: Key Meetings and Legislative Actions

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Last week was a busy one for House and Senate committees, with significant discussions and legislative advancements on various health care issues.

The Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, part of the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee, held a hearing titled “Feeding a Healthier America: Current Efforts and Potential Opportunities for Food is Medicine.” The bipartisan session underscored the critical role of proper nutrition in health and well-being. Witnesses and senators discussed how integrating Food is Medicine initiatives could improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, advocating for legislation and funding to support these initiatives.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced an updated discussion draft of the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) of 2024. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to establish a national privacy standard. The House Energy & Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee marked up three pieces of legislation, including the APRA discussion draft, which was forwarded to the full committee for further refinement.

The Senate HELP Committee held an executive session to advance seven pieces of public health legislation. Six bills passed with wide bipartisan support, and one was advanced unanimously, indicating strong cross-party collaboration on public health issues.

The House Budget Committee held a hearing titled “Breaking Up Health Care Monopolies: Examining the Budgetary Effects of Health Care Consolidation.” This hearing focused on the impact of health care consolidation on federal spending and explored solutions to reduce incentives for consolidation, aiming to enhance competition and lower costs.

And finally, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on “The Older Americans Act: The Local Impact of the Law and the Upcoming Reauthorization.” The session provided an opportunity to discuss the significant impact of the Older Americans Act (OAA) on communities and hear from individuals working to support older adults, emphasizing the importance of reauthorizing and possibly expanding the OAA.