Pallone Applauds Passage of Omnibus Package
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 2617, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023:
“Today, the Democratic House majority passed a comprehensive government funding package that invests in the American people.
“As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’m proud to have secured provisions in the bill that will increase access to health care and establish critically important consumer protections.
“The government funding agreement guarantees 12 months of continuous Medicaid coverage for 40 million of our nation’s children, provides two years of additional CHIP funding, and permanently extends the option for states to offer 12 months of Medicaid coverage to new moms. In addition, it provides resources and support to address our nation’s mental health and substance use disorder crises, which we know are especially acute among young people.
“I’m also pleased the omnibus ensures Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories have the Medicaid funding they need to care for their residents.
“The bill equips FDA and CDC with important new tools and resources to fulfill their missions protecting the health and safety of Americans. After more than 80 years since our cosmetic safety laws were last updated, Congress is passing legislation I’ve long championed to empower FDA with the tools and resources it needs to oversee the cosmetics industry. It’s a huge win for consumers and I’m thrilled it’s going to be signed into law.
“Finally, the omnibus will guard consumers against counterfeit and dangerous products, bolster U.S. manufacturing, and continue to promote our economic competitiveness on the world stage.
“I’m proud Democrats were able to secure so many important health care and consumer protection provisions in this bill and I look forward to President Biden signing it into law soon.”
Health Care Provisions in the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus:
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP):
The omnibus extends funding for CHIP for two years through fiscal year 2029, requires children to be provided with 12 months of continuous coverage in Medicaid and CHIP effective January 1, 2024, and makes permanent a state option to allow states to continue to provide 12 months of continuous coverage during the postpartum period in Medicaid or CHIP.
Medicaid Funding for the U.S. Territories:
The omnibus extends Puerto Rico’s higher federal Medicaid match of 76 percent through fiscal year 2027 and permanently extends a higher federal Medicaid match of 83 percent for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mental Health Care:
The omnibus includes a number of provisions to address the nation’s mental health crisis by strengthening, expanding, and establishing more than 30 critical programs that collectively support mental health care and substance use disorder prevention, care, treatment, peer support, and recovery support services. It reauthorizes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Program, the Community Mental Health Service Block Grants, and the renamed Substance Use and Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Block Grants. The bill also includes grant funding to support the maternal mental programs, establishes a maternal mental health hotline and a related task force. It extends mental health parity to state and local government workers and bolsters the mental health and substance use disorder workforce through increased capacity and training. It also provides Medicare Part B coverage of mental health counselor and therapist services.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) & Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE):
The omnibus expands patient access to opioid addiction treatment by making it easier for health care providers to dispense buprenorphine for opioid use disorder maintenance or detoxification treatment. The bill also requires health care providers to complete a training requirement on identifying and treating patients with substance use disorders.
The omnibus modernizes and strengthens FDA’s ability to oversee drugs that are approved through the accelerated approval pathway. The bill requires FDA to specify conditions for required postapproval studies and authorizes the agency to require postapproval studies to be underway at the time of approval or within a specified time period following approval. The omnibus also clarifies and streamlines the existing authority to withdraw approvals where sponsors fail to conduct studies with due diligence.
Clinical Trial Diversity:
The omnibus requires FDA to take a series of actions intended to modernize and improve clinical trials including increasing the diversity and engagement of trial participants.
The omnibus strengthens FDA’s ability to regulate the safety of cosmetics and personal care products. The bill empowers FDA to establish good manufacturing practices, requires manufacturers to report adverse events, requires manufacturing facilities to be registered, requires cosmetic product labels to list fragrance allergens and contact information to report adverse event reports, and provides FDA with mandatory recall authority. Pallone has long been a champion of cosmetics reform.
The omnibus establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Health (ARPA-H), an advance research entity that will accelerate innovation in health and medicine by investing in novel, broadly applicable, high-risk, high-reward research projects.
Lymphedema Compression Treatment:
The omnibus provides Medicare Part B coverage of compression garments for the treatment of lymphedema.
The omnibus provides important new authorities for improving the Strategic National Stockpile to ensure critical pandemic supplies are operational, resilient, and ready to deploy in times of need. The bill also provides critical support to the public health workforce by encouraging investments in the next generation of health care workers through grants and public health loan forgiveness.
The omnibus continues Medicare’s expanded access to telehealth by extending COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities for an additional two years, through December 31, 2024.
Consumer Protection & Commerce Provisions in the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus:
The omnibus establishes a national standard, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State Attorneys General, that require online platforms that allow third party sellers of consumer products to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers, enabling consumers to obtain basic identification and contact information for certain sellers.
The bill directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a consumer product safety standard for free standing clothing storage units to protect children up to 72 months of age from tip-over related death or injury.
The omnibus requires the Department of Commerce to establish a section of the manufacturing.gov website to serve as the primary hub for information relating to federal manufacturing programs.
Travel and Tourism:
The bill establishes the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism to be appointed by the President, tasked with developing a 10-year strategy with annual goals to boost the industry and aggregating data on domestic travel and tourism trends.
The omnibus requires the FTC to report on cross-border complaints received that involve ransomware or other cyber-related attacks committed by certain foreign individuals, companies, and governments. The report must focus specifically on attacks committed by Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran or individuals or companies that are located in or have ties to those countries. This provision was authored by Schakowsky and Bilirakis.
The bill authorizes $2.5 million for the CPSC to carry out an education and awareness campaign to inform the public of methods to prevent drowning and entrapment in swimming pools.