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 Legislative & Policy Corner

Congress Gearing Up for Busy September
Although Congress is still in recess, both the House and Senate are preparing to confront many deadlines in September. When they return after Labor Day, the House will take up an omnibus appropriations package that combines all 12 appropriations bills, including Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS), where Title V Block Grant funding is housed. As reported previously, this bill appropriates $641.7 million for the Title V MCH Block Grant in fiscal year 2018. The Senate will mark up its appropriations bills as well, with Labor-HHS reportedly scheduled to be considered in subcommittee on Sept. 5 or 6, followed by full committee consideration on Sept. 7.  Despite the flurry of activity, however, we anticipate a continuing resolution to be advanced to keep the government opened past Sept. 30, with final action on FY18 appropriations delayed until later in the year. 

During that same week, we expect to see a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a Senate HELP Committee hearing on insurance market stabilization. And, of course, we continue advocating for extending several important programs whose funding expires Sept. 30, including CHIP, MIECHV, Family to Family Information Centers, and PREP. Please stay tuned!


TPP and Title X Funding
Many of our members are probably aware that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently sent notices to Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) and Title X grantees about changes to the programs. In conjunction with our partners at other organizations, we are waiting to see HHS’ response to congressional inquiries on the decision to end TPP funding at the end of year 3 instead of year 5 of the grant. Likewise, we are waiting to see what changes, if any, are being proposed to Title X funding in light of the decision to require all grantees to re-compete for next year, and we will consider how to respond at that time.

Get Up to Date on Federal MCH Policy
The next event in the All-Member National MCH Policy Call Series will take place on Sept. 7 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET.
 
Health Systems Transformation
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated the training curriculum for Navigators and certified application counselors in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces, in preparation for the Open Enrollment Period beginning Nov. 1, 2017 for the 2018 plan year in the individual market. More information can be found here.