Members of Congress returned from their pre-election recess on Tuesday for what is known as a “lame-duck” session, since some of the Members will be “lame ducks” – not returning for the next session of Congress in January. By December 7, Congress will have to appropriate funds for seven federal departments and agencies now operating under a “continuing resolution.” (In an unusual turn of events, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has already been enacted.) Other bills that could come up before the end of the session include:
- The ACE Kids Act, which would provide Medicaid reimbursement for health homes for children with medically complex conditions in order to better coordinate their care. The bill was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 13 so is now ready to be considered by the full House. The website of the Children’s Hospital Association provides more information about the bill, which is supported by a number of child health organizations.
- The EMPOWER Care Act, which would reauthorize the Medicaid “Money Follows the Person” program to help people transition from institutional to community-based care. The bill, which is strongly supported by the disabilities community, was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 13 so can now be considered by the full House.