Dems’ Opposition To Shutdown Plan Softens; Hard-Line Republicans Dig In
A proposal to avert a government shutdown floated by House Speaker Mike Johnson is gaining support among Democrats, whose support will be needed to pass the House since right-leaning members' opposition to the measure grows.
The New York Times:
Democrats Signal Openness To Plan To Avert Shutdown As Republicans Balk
Speaker Mike Johnson’s proposal to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week ran into increasing opposition on Monday from hard-line Republicans. But with Democratic opposition softening, it appeared the plan could be headed toward bipartisan approval within days. The shifting alliances came as the House planned to take its first action on the bill as early as Tuesday. The legislation would fund federal agencies into early 2024 with two staggered deadlines, allowing lawmakers time to try to finish off the annual spending bills and putting off a debate over wartime aid to Israel and Ukraine. (Hulse and Edmondson, 11/13)
The New York Times:
Government Shutdown: What Services And Benefits Could Be Affected?
In recent days, the White House has spotlighted several government programs that could cause more severe issues if suspended, in particular the nutrition and immunization assistance given out through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. If funding lapses, the White House has said nearly seven million women and children could lose critical access to food, and the federal contingency fund to keep the program running could run dry within days. (Montague, 11/13)
What Happens To Pay, Benefits During The Government Shutdown?
Federal employees will continue to have health care coverage during the government shutdown. Premiums for their coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program will accrue over the course of the shutdown, and then will be taken out of employees' first paycheck after the government reopens. Federal employees can make changes to their coverage during a shutdown if they have a significant life event during that time, such as the birth of a child. (Mayer, 11/13)
In other health news from Capitol Hill —
Tension With Sanders Complicates Major Primary Care, Opioid Bill Push
Sen. Bernie Sanders' push for sweeping legislation to address a growing shortage of primary care providers, the opioid crisis and other key health issues faces an unusual obstacle: escalating tensions among members of the health committee he chairs. (Sullivan, 11/13)
Do Republican Spending Cuts Threaten Federal HIV Funding? For Some Programs, Yes
Are Republicans threatening to stop spending federal money to end one of the world’s most pressing public health epidemics? That’s what President Joe Biden said during a dinner hosted by an LGBTQ+ advocacy group. “In the United States Congress, extreme MAGA Republicans are trying to undo virtually every bit of progress we’ve made,” Biden said Oct. 14 at the Human Rights Campaign event. “They’re trying to wipe out federal funding to end the HIV epidemic.” (Abels, 11/14)
More Than 800 U.S. Counties Are 'Insulin Deserts.' How These Senators Want To Help Americans With Diabetes
Lacy McGee, 30, spent her last year of graduate school scouring Facebook groups and meeting strangers in Chick-fil-A and grocery store parking lots to obtain enough insulin to get through another week. McGee, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 17 years old, is one of more than 37 million Americans who live with the disease. And like many Americans across the United States, McGee has spent years of her life figuring out how to afford the drug and rationing supplies of the medication she needs to survive. (Looker, 11/14)
A key critic of Obamacare is leaving Congress —
The Texas Tribune:
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess Will Not Seek Reelection; Was A Key Critic Of Democratic Efforts To Overhaul The Country’s Health Care System
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Dallas-area Republican who has held his post for two decades, will not seek re-election next year, he announced Monday. ... An obstetrician by trade and Congress’ longest-serving doctor, Burgess emerged as a key GOP voice on health care issues. During the Obama administration, Burgess was a staunch critic of Democratic efforts to reform the U.S. health care system. During the Trump administration, Burgess became a crucial figure in GOP efforts to unwind the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” (Fechter, 11/13)
Burgess Announces House Retirement After 11 Terms
He rallied against the Democratic-led COVID-19 relief measure, arguing the legislative packages cost too much and Congress had too little oversight of spending. He repeatedly pressed then-Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., to further investigate the origins of the coronavirus in China and has lamented that the pandemic eroded public trust in public health institutions. He has also made Medicare physician payments one of his key issues, and in 2015 he led the passage of a law that reformed the way physicians are paid under Medicare with a focus on value and quality of care instead of volume. (Jordan, 11/13)