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House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

H.Res. 175 – Rule providing for consideration H.R. 1549 – “Helping Sick Americans Now Act” (Rep. Pitts – Energy and Commerce) (One Hour of debate) The Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The Rule allows 2 amendments debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. It also waives all points of order against the legislation. The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter to consider H.R. 1549 under an open Rule. The Rules Committee also rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern to make in order Democratic amendments that would provide alternative payfors.

H.R. 1549 – “Helping Sick Americans Now Act” (Rep. Pitts – Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule) (One Hour of debate) The bill would reopen enrollment in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP) and remove the requirement that PCIP enrollees be without coverage for six months prior to enrolling in the program.  It pays for this by zeroing out funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund for FY 2013-2016.

PCIP was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide interim health care coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions until January 1, 2014, when all of the law’s insurance reforms took effect and new healthcare marketplaces opened. The ACA authorized $5 billion to pay beneficiary claims and cover administrative costs that exceeded premiums collected from enrollees in PCIP. The law also gave the Secretary authority to stop accepting applications before the program’s termination date of December 31, 2013, and make other adjustments in order to ensure that program costs did not exceed the $5 billion appropriated.  On February 15, 2013, new enrollment was suspended to ensure that the program would be able to cover the costs of the more than 107,000 enrollees through the end of the year.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that reopening enrollment and removing the six-month waiting period would increase the PCIP program’s cost by $2.8 billion through its termination on December 31, 2013.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund was enacted in response to overwhelmingly bipartisan support for prevention efforts and in recognition of the lack of a targeted and sustained federal initiative to address chronic and costly conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.  Almost 800 organizations have voiced their strong support for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and have denounced efforts to repeal or defund it. During the 112th Congress, the House voted at least four times to repeal or defund the Fund and over 30 times to repeal or defund part or all of the ACA. This is yet another fruitless effort by Republicans to gut the Affordable Care Act. MEMBERS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO.

The Rule makes in order 2 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Reps. Pitts/Upton Amendment. Terminates the prevention fund after FY 2016 and authorizes a $5 billion state-based high-risk pool program for 2014.
Rep. Brownley Amendment. Requires that within 90 days of enactment of H.R. 1549, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall prepare a report to Congress detailing the exact amount of money to be transferred out of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and how that transfer will impact the access of uninsured and underinsured children, adolescents, and adults to immunization programs, Alzheimer’s disease education and prevention programs, and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and maternal care programs.

Bill Text for H.R. 1549:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1549:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report

Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 360 – To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Rep. Sewell – Financial Services)
  2. H.R. 1071 – To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins (Rep. Hanna – Financial Services)

The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, April 25: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to begin consideration of H.R. 527 – Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (Subject to a Rule).

The Daily Quote

“Republicans Tuesday evening blocked a proposal from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass legislation to replace the sequester, which is causing delays at airports nationwide, for the remainder of the fiscal year with war savings.”

-    CQ, 4/23/13