February 08,2018

Press Contact:

202-224-4515, Katie Niederee and Julia Lawless

Hatch Healthcare Priorities Included in Funding Package

Legislation Includes Additional CHIP Extension, CHRONIC Care Act, Family First Prevention Services Act & Social Impact Partnership Act

Since Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) became the top Republican on the committee in 2011, he has championed a number of bipartisan initiatives to streamline and improve America’s healthcare and foster care systems. The government funding package recently introduced in the Senate contains key provisions championed by Hatch.

Take a look at some of the highlights:

Hatch created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) more than two decades ago. The program, which fills the gap for families who don’t qualify for programs like Medicaid but still cannot afford private insurance, is successful and financially responsible, and continues to receive bipartisan support.

Earlier this year, Congress enacted a six-year CHIP extension—the longest in the program’s history—based in large part on a bipartisan agreement Hatch struck with Ranking Member Wyden last year. This legislation extends CHIP for an additional four years, ensuring that CHIP is funded through FY2027, providing even more certainty for the families and states that depend on CHIP. 

The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 will improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic conditions while lowering Medicare costs and streamlining care coordination services in a fiscally sound manner. 

This critical legislation is the culmination of years of bipartisan collaboration. Following Hatch’s creation of a bipartisan working group, stakeholder feedback and hearings, the CHRONIC Care Act advanced from the Finance Committee last year and was passed unanimously by the Senate in September 2017.

Finance Committee Ranking Member Wyden and Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) joined Hatch in introducing the CHRONIC Care Act.

The Family First Prevention Services Act will help keep more children safely with their families instead of placing them in foster care. It does so by supporting states in providing evidence-based services to prevent children from entering foster care, encouraging states to place children with foster families instead of in group homes, and by reducing bureaucracy for and providing help to relatives so more children can live with family if they must be removed from their home.

Hatch introduced the Family First Prevention Services Act last congress with Ranking Member Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

The Social Impact Partnership Act will support innovative public-private partnerships to address critical social and public health challenges. As a result of this bill, states will identify key social challenges to address and the results they seek to achieve, and the federal government will pay if a rigorous, independent evaluation shows that they achieved the outcome.

Hatch introduced the Social Impact Partnership with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) following a Finance Committee hearing on evidence-based funding for social welfare programs.

The Protecting Seniors’ Act to Medicare Act of 2017 repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, has the potential to make major Medicare decisions, yet is governed by unaccountable bureaucrats. 

To protect seniors’ healthcare decisions, Finance Committee member Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2017. Democrats have also supported eliminating IPAB.

This legislation funds the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program through FY2022. This critical program provides states with grants to support evidence-based home visiting programs for at-risk families.

Finance Committee Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to extend funding for this program. His proposal has also received strong bipartisan support.

The funding package also includes a number of Hatch-driven improvements and reforms to Medicare to ensure seniors continue to receive quality health care for years to come. These changes include increasing how much high-income beneficiaries pay in Part B and Part D premiums in order to improve Medicare’s financial outlook and targeted Medicare Part B improvements, including expanding access to in-home treatments for patients.

The legislation also includes a package of bipartisan provisions known as Medicare extenders. These Medicare provisions are: Geographic Practice Cost index; Medicare therapy cap repeal; Medicare ambulance services; increased hospital payment for certain low-volume hospitals; Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program; funding for quality measure endorsement; funding outreach and assistance for low-income programs; and funding of home health rural add-ons.

The package includes continued funding for community health centers, National Health Service Corps., teaching health centers that operate the GME program, and special diabetes programs.

It also includes home health payment reform; expands access to Medicare intensive cardiac rehabilitation programs; and delays Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) reductions for two years.