Legislative Corner

President’s Budget Delayed
President Obama will delay the release of his fiscal year 2013 budget report until Feb. 13. The release of the budget is the first step in the annual appropriations process and sets a road map indicating the administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming year. It is important to note that we anticipate the budget will be the “high” water mark for many programs and Congress will try to cut them even deeper. We will be sure to provide you with an update about how the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant fared in the President’s budget during the AMCHP annual conference.

AMCHP Conference Hill Day Reminder!
In accordance with your state rules on advocacy, please schedule meetings with members of Congress while you are in Washington, D.C. attending the AMCHP conference. Now more than ever, our nation’s leaders need to hear about the importance of the Title V MCH Block Grant. Click here to find additional details about the Hill Day, including a guide describing how to schedule a meeting, information about advocacy training sessions and much more.

Essential Health Benefits
On Dec. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states guidance on how to implement the provision related to essential health benefits included in the Affordable Care Act. HHS intends to propose that essential health benefits are defined using a benchmark approach and plans to release a proposed rule in the near future. AMCHP is in the process of carefully crafting comments in response this bulletin. We will be sure to share a copy of those comments with you once they are finalized.