Legislative & Policy Corner

AMCHP Hosts Second Webinar on Supreme Court Decision and the Affordable Care Act
On Jul. 31 at 3 p.m. EDT, AMCHP will be hosting a second webinar on the impact of the Supreme Court decision and the Affordable Care Act as a continuation to the Jul. 2 webinar. This webinar and discussion will delve deeper into the implications of the ruling on Medicaid expansion as well as current and ongoing opportunities for Title V involvement with ACA implementation. The webinar will cover health insurance exchanges, quality, health benefits, coverage issues, Strong Start and medical homes. The webinar will also highlight various state representatives and who will share the status and efforts of health reform implementation in their states. Preregistration is required for the webinar. Please click here to register.

Friends of Maternal and Child Health
Last week, AMCHP hosted a meeting with Dr. Lu and 40 maternal and child health advocates. This meeting afforded an opportunity to highlight the work of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and also provided forum for the community to dialogue with Dr. Lu. Some key topics discussed during the meeting included updates on MCHB priorities, such as the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant, Healthy Start, home visiting and ways in which the community can help Dr. Lu achieve his vision.

On Jul. 16, the Friends of MCH will release an organization sign-on letter urging Congress to avoid sequestration, currently scheduled to take effect on Jan. 2, 2013, in a way that fully protects the health of women, children and their families. This letter strongly urges a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to non-defense discretionary programs because these critically important programs have already done their part to reduce the deficit. Additionally, the Friends of MCH will release a fact sheet highlighting the impact sequestration will have on women, infants, children and families. AMCHP, March of Dimes, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics led the development of these documents and will continue to work with the broad public health community to articulate the significant impact sequestration will have on programs and the populations they serve. Click here for a preview of the fact sheet and click here for background information about sequestration.

Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns
On Jul. 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an amended Funding Opportunity Announcement for Testing New Approaches to Prenatal Care and an accompanying Fact Sheet. On Jul. 11, CMS hosted a Strong Start webinar regarding the amended FOA. The slides from the webinar are available here. The transcript of the call will be made available. Please refer to the CMS website for more information. Additionally, CMS has provided a clarification document which can be found here. The application deadline for funding is Aug. 9, and the anticipated notice of award is Oct. 5.

MIECHV Funding
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, on Jul. 9, the availability of approximately $12 million of funding for development grants to states that currently have modest home visiting programs and want to build on existing efforts. Successful applicants will sufficiently demonstrate the capacity to expand or enhance their evidence-based home visiting programs. The funding provided will build on the formula funding already provided to states and territories to support the quality implementation of home visiting programs. Additionally, this funding opportunity will continue the program's emphasis on rigorous research by grounding the proposed work in relevant empirical literature, and by including requirements to evaluate work proposed under this grant. For more information, click here.

Prevention and Public Health Fund
HHS announced that funding through the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) is available for a behavioral risk factor surveillance system. Two different awards are available. Click here and here for the funding announcements.