The Brain Injury Association of America has asked me to post the below information.  Read on…

Congress Avoids Government Shutdown

On Wednesday, the House cleared, with a 277-151 vote, a two-month stopgap spending bill (Continuing Resolution-CR) that will avert a government shutdown. Earlier in the day, the Senate passed the measure with a 78-20 vote. The bill, which will keep the government funded through Dec. 11, was signed by President Barack Obama.  The CR will fund the government at Fiscal Year 2015 spending levels. The end of the fiscal year was Wednesday, September 30, therefore the government would have shut down if Congress did not come to an agreement on how to fund the government. Congress kicked the can down the road by only extending the spending bill until December 11, 2015. This will be the new deadline for Congress to come to an agreement on how to fund the government.

Leadership Change in the House of Representatives

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced this past Friday he will step down as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is third in line to the President. Speaker Boehner will leave Congress on October 30. He announced this week the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will vote on new leadership October 8. The next in line to the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the Majority Leader. The current Majority Leader is Kevin McCarthy from California. To learn more about the leadership in the House of Representatives click here.

Congressional Briefing on Medicaid

This week, BIAA staff attended a congressional briefing,

Medicaid Equal Access: Making the State/Federal Partnership Work. Congressional staff from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce gave remarks. The briefing highlighted the provision Congress included in the Medicaid Act requiring that payments to providers must be “consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care” and “sufficient” to ensure that Medicaid recipients have equivalent access to services as privately insured patients (known as the equal access rule). After proposing guidance in 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not yet finalized its guidance on the equal access rule. In June, members of Congress urged HHS to release it to ensure that essential services for millions of Americans are not disrupted without guidance, technical assistance, and active and ongoing oversight of the program. BIAA will be sending an action alert next week in collaboration with other organizations leading this issue.