Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Garrett Eberhardt August 12, 2019

Hill Happenings

House Republican Retirements Ramp Up

Eight Republicans in the House of Representatives have recently announced their retirement, including Representatives Rob Bishop (UT), Martha Roby (AL), Pete Olson (TX), Paul Mitchell (MI), Susan Brooks (IN), and Rob Woodall (GA). Some party strategists have said they expect the trend to accelerate, with another round of announcements after Members return from the August recess.

Administration Activities

Trump Administration Considering September Rollout of Healthcare Plan

It was reported last week that the Trump Administration is eyeing a September rollout of its health care plan, although the plan hasn't been finalized and members of the Administration are concerned over the effect any plan could have on his campaign efforts. The rollout would begin with a September speech that would seek to provide an alternative to Medicare for All plans currently being touted by Democratic Presidential candidates and show that the Administration has a plan in case the Affordable Care Act is struck down in court.

Public Charge Rule Finalized

Earlier this morning, the Trump administration finalized its “public charge” rule strengthening the government's ability to reject green cards for people who are deemed likely to depend on government aid such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid. The rule would link a subject's immigration status to their income and their use of certain public programs. It is set to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday and go into effect 60 days afterward.


ASTHO has released its FY20 Governmental Appropriations Book compiling top federal funding priorities and recommendations for nonprofit public health associations in FY20.

MMWR:  Vital Signs: Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing — United States, 2012–2018

Job Opportunities

CLS Disease Intervention Specialist – Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health has two vacant Disease Intervention Specialists HIV Care Link Services positions in the Partner and Care Link Services Unit. These positions will primarily work with people whose HIV medical status is unknown or who are out of care to assist them in re-engaging in care. The vacancy will be open until midnight on Friday, August 16.

Upcoming Conferences

Fast-Track Cities 2019

Fast-Track Cities 2019 will take place September 8-11, 2019, in London. This will be the first international conference of more than 270 cities and municipalities, including from the United States, that are accelerating their responses to HIV, tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis. The conference’s aim is to highlight successes achieved across the Fast-Track Cities network, address cross-cutting challenges faced by local stakeholders, and share best practices in accelerating urban AIDS responses, inclusive of co-infectious diseases and comorbid conditions. Registration is currently open.

News Bulletin

Discriminating against HIV-positive military members is unproductive for our military

”Last month, I told a federal court of appeals it should affirm a preliminary injunction preventing the Air Force from discharging service members with HIV. It is long past time for the U.S. military to integrate the latest medical science regarding HIV into military policies and to stop discriminating against service members with this medical condition.”

CMS:  Make Sure You’re Protected from Hepatitis

“Did you know there are 5 different types of viral hepatitis? These viruses cause more than one million deaths each year, and that number keeps growing.

Fortunately, Medicare can help keep you protected from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.”

If we don't act fast, Hepatitis A will become a national epidemic

“As a physician who is concerned about public health, I am glad that President Trump has been shining a spotlight on homelessness and associated squalor in many of our major cities. One associated public health concern is Hepatitis A, a virus that spreads through contaminated food and water.

The Philadelphia Department of Health has correctly just declared hepatitis A as a public health emergency, due to a recent upsurge of cases, with 67 percent of those infected saying that they have used drugs and 26 percent reporting themselves to be homeless.”