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 Legislative & Policy Corner

AMCHP Post-Election Call for All Members – November 30
Please mark your calendar for Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET for an AMCHP All-Member Teleconference to discuss the potential impact of the election on maternal and child health policy. AMCHP leaders and staff will share initial analysis of what we might expect regarding MCH budget priorities, the future of health reform and other critical policy issues. We'll share plans on how we hope to work with the new administration and leaders in Congress, and will reserve ample time to take your questions and suggestions for moving forward. You may RSVP for the call by clicking here (call-in information will be sent to all who register). In the interim, questions can be directed to Brent Ewig, director of policy, at bewig@amchp.org.

What's on Deck for the Lame Duck Congress
Members of Congress have approximately 12 legislative days scheduled for the remainder of the year during which time their top priority will be passing a spending package for fiscal year 2017 before the current continuing resolution expires on Dec. 9. Following the election, congressional leaders and the incoming administration have made it clear that they would prefer to pass another continuing resolution to last until March 31, 2017, which would further delay decisions on the remainder of government spending for FY17. If this change occurs, it also opens a path for two budget resolutions to be passed next year (one for FY17 and one for FY18), which could ease the path for using budget reconciliation to make changes to the Affordable Care Act. We will be discussing these and other items in the all-member call referenced above. AMCHP will also send a legislative alert as soon as we know final details of any appropriations action.

Health Reform Implementation
 
CMS Announces New Zika Funding Opportunity to Areas with Active or Local Zika Virus
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a funding opportunity to support prevention activities and treatment services for health conditions related to the Zika virus. Congress authorized this funding in the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (P.L. 114-223).Entities eligible to apply for this funding opportunity include states, territories, tribes or tribal organizations with active or local transmission of the Zika virus, as confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has designated American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida as areas with laboratory-confirmed active or local Zika virus transmission. Up to $66.1 million is available, with $60.6 million directed to Puerto Rico, which has a high incidence of Zika cases. Allocations are based on the percent of active and local Zika cases reported by the CDC and the size of the populations in these areas. Funding in Puerto Rico will significantly increase the resources and capacity needed to prevent transmission of the virus and provide critical diagnostic, screening and treatment for pregnant women, newborns and others.