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 Legislation and Policy

House Appropriations Committee Takes Up FY20 Funding Bills
The House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) considered appropriations legislation this week for federal fiscal year 2020 (FY20). As of this writing, we have not yet seen the full details of the FY20 LHHS bill. However, we know from the draft bill text and a high-level summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee that the bill proposes increases to HRSA programs to improve maternal and child health. We have also heard through the grapevine that the legislation proposes an increase to the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. We will share further details via Legislative Alert as soon as they become available.

The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the FY20 LHHS bill on May 8, after which time the committee will release additional details about the bill. Keep in mind that the funding levels proposed in the House FY20 LHHS bill are not final; there are still several steps to go in the FY20 appropriations process.

House Committee Requests Briefings from Federal Agencies on Maternal Mortality
The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to six federal agencies on Apr. 24 requesting briefings on efforts the agencies are taking – or could take – to address the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States. The bipartisan committee leaders requested briefings from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Service (IHS), and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).

AMCHP Endorses Bill to Reauthorize Autism CARES Act
Earlier this week, AMCHP endorsed a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Autism CARES Act. The bill – the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2019 (Autism CARES Act of 2019) – was introduced in the Senate as S. 427 and in the House of Representatives as H.R. 1058. It would continue the activities authorized under the Autism CARES Act of 2014, placing a new emphasis on improving lifespan services and reducing disparities. The Autism CARES Act of 2014 expires after September 30, 2019.

For more information about the Autism CARES Act of 2019 and the status of the reauthorization, mark your calendar for June 6 at 2PM ET. During the June call in AMCHP's National Policy Call Series, AMCHP will host guest speaker Rylin Rodgers, Director of Public Policy at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, to share the latest on the Autism CARES Act reauthorization and fiscal year 2020 funding.

AMCHP Endorses Bill to Reauthorize Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act
As Members of the House of Representatives get ready to introduce a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act, AMCHP has endorsed the final text of the legislation to extend several federal newborn screening programs. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2019 will ensure essential federal newborn screening programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration continue for the next five years. It makes targeted improvements, including increasing authorized funding levels, ensuring federal agencies have the flexibility to address emerging technologies and new conditions, and improving surveillance activities. The bill also commissions the National Academy of Medicine to issue a report on the modernization of newborn screening and make appropriate recommendations.