Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Mike Weir September 4, 2018

Hill Happenings

FY2019 Appropriations

A formal House/Senate conference on three FY2019 spending bills should begin after the Labor Day holiday. The three spending bills are: The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019; the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2019; and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019.

On August 23, the Senate passed the FY2019 Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding package. The House has not passed their LHHS FY2019 bill, but passed their Defense bill on July 28th.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have agreed to proceed to conference on the Defense/LHHS appropriations package in the coming weeks. The current fiscal year ends on September 30th.

NASTAD will continue to monitor the appropriations process and advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs.

340B Program

The chairmen and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pensions (HELP) Committee sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) calling for stronger regulation of the 340B program. “Given the important role the 340B program plays in our nation’s health care safety-net, it is critical that program rules be clear and consistent for all stakeholders,” Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR-2) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-6) and Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote in the letter.

Administration Activities

STD Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data that shows “nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017”— 200,000 more cases than in 2016, marking the fourth year in a row that STDs increased sharply in the U.S. The report highlighted “that emerging resistance to azithromycin is now on the rise in laboratory testing — with the portion of samples that showed emerging resistance to azithromycin increasing from 1 percent in 2013 to more than 4 percent in 2017.”

2018 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment

The 2018 Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment will be held December 11-14, 2018 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Late registration for the conference is open until September 28, 2018.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) 2018 Clinical Conference

The RWHAP Clinical Conference will be held on December 9-11 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The conference is open to any RWHAP-funded clinical prescriber--Parts A-F.  Registration for the Clinical Conference is now available.

2019 National HIV Prevention Conference

The 2019 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) will be held March 18-21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out the updated website for more information about tracks and to view the tentative conference schedule.

Resources

The Trust for America’s Health has announced 4-part webinar series called, Taking Action to Promote Health Equity—Using the Lessons from Cutting-Edge Practices to Improve Health and Well Being.

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2017

News Bulletin

HIV/AIDS research yields dividends across medical fields

“Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States 37 years ago, the National Institutes of Health [NIH] has invested more than $69 billion in the understanding, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Beyond the development of life-saving medications and innovative prevention modalities, such research has led to numerous advances outside the HIV field, according to a new commentary from experts at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).”

Smartphone App Can Help Improve Outcomes in Patients With HIV

“A smartphone app designed for people living with HIV increases users' consistency in doctor visits and improves their health outcomes, according to a study recently published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs.”