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Unpacking the omnibus sanitary arrangements

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With help from Daniel Lippman, Caitlin Emma, ​​Anthony Adragna, Ben Leonard, Alice Miranda Ollstein, David Lim, Lauren Gardner, Megan R. Wilson and Carmen Paun

NOTE ON PROGRAMMING: We will be away next week for the holidays but will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday January 1st. 3.

ALL TOPPINGS – As federal cash expires Friday night, Congress is now working fervently to pass the year-end spending plan that was scrapped early Tuesday morning. The massive deal was struck with major health provisions that could hit Biden’s desk this week.

“The omnibus is aggressive, generous and far-reaching in health care, making it more affordable, more expansive,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. The faster we pass the omnibus, the better. And I hope that no senator will prevent us from finishing our work before Friday. It’s too important to the American people.

Here’s a breakdown of some key health policy provisions that worked — and some notable ones that didn’t.

An earlier end to the Covid rules. his bill includes a bipartisan agreement to end a Covid-era Medicaid policy that gave states extra funding and prevented them from kicking people out of federally funded insurance, setting a new date for end on April 1, 2023.

Extension of telehealth. The bill contains an extension of HHS rules that have made telehealth more accessible during the pandemic. But the provision, which extends flexibility until the end of 2024, falls far short of the permanent flexibility some lawmakers have called for.

Major victories in the fight against opioids. A long list of measures to address the current opioid crisis is included in the bill, including $1,575,000,000 in state grants for addiction prevention and treatment. It also incorporated important provisions of the Drug Treatment Integration Actincluding the elimination of a DEA requirement that clinicians obtain additional certification to prescribe buprenorphine, and the NOPAIN Act, which improves access to FDA-approved non-opioid therapies for outpatient surgical procedures.

Pandemic preparations. Bill asks Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response report to Congress on the feasibility of developing an AI-based pandemic preparedness and response program. The ASPR would take the lead with assistance from the Departments of Defense and Energy as needed.

The bill also includes provisions from the legislation championed by the incumbent senator. Richard Burr (RN.C.) and HELP Senate Speaker Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to bolster U.S. preparedness for future pandemics. In addition, the spending agreement aims to improve infectious disease forecasting and modeling, establish an office of pandemic preparedness and response within the White House, and institute more frequent reviews of the strategic national stockpile.

WELCOME TO WEDNESDAY PULSE Does anything really cure a hangover? Despite the growing market for vitamin patches and products containing Korean pear juice, it seems… no. Do you have your own secret remedy? Send it! And your news, of course, to [email protected] and [email protected].

TODAY ON OUR PULSE CHECK PODCAST, Megan Messerly talks to Alice Miranda Ollstein about the state abortion battles they followed in 2022 after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision – throwing the future of abortion access in the United States into flux – and what they envision next year.

Our breakdown of omnibus health highlights continues:

Changes at the FDA. As part of the legislation, legislators have revised the way Cosmetics are regulated for the first time since the 1930s, giving the FDA greater authority to ensure countless lotions and makeup products are safe to use. It also includes changes to the FDA’s fast-track approval pathway for drugs, giving the agency clear authority to require post-approval clinical trials to confirm a product’s benefits.

A new home for ARPA-H. New Agency for Advanced Research Projects for Health will be part of the National Institutes of Health, settling a dispute over the agency’s independence, but the question of where its headquarters will be has remained open.

investment in mental health. The package provides several key investments to expand access to mental health, including grants for maternal mental health, block grants for community health services, and block grants for use and prevention, treatment and Constance’s recovery.

A boost for global health spending. The agreement cuts $11.2 billion for global health. Funds will flow through the Department of State, Agency for International Development, HHS and CDC. The biggest boost, $445 million, will go to HIV/AIDS programs, for a total of $6.7 billion.

Notably missing from the package:

This pandemic aid … President Joe Biden had asked for $9 billion to help fight the Covid pandemic and meet emerging needs, but Republicans have always been reluctant to provide additional money.

A financial boost for family planning. The bill maintains funding at a stable level for the Title X Family Planning Program For the ninth consecutive year, a blow to reproductive health groups that had argued for the downfall of Roe v. Wade warranted a substantial increase.

The valid act. Legislation that would have overhaul of the regulations for diagnostics and laboratory-developed tests fell after House Energy and Commerce Committee member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) led efforts to block the provision.

Help for pregnant workers. Legislation that would have expanded protections for pregnant workers, called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was shelved after being stalled in the Senate for months despite support from groups like the American Chamber of Commerce, the ACLU and the Conference. of the United States on equity. Catholic bishops.

WINTER VIRUS PEAK IN NYC New York City experiences holiday spike in Covid-19 casesas well as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, POLITICO’s Erin Durkin reports.

Mayor Eric Adams called the situation on Tuesday “extremely difficult.”

Covid cases have risen to 3,636 a day on average, an increase of around 50% since Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the city recorded 16,890 flu cases in the last week of data, already more than the peak of the past four winter flu seasons. RSV cases have started to decline since peaking in the fall, but are still at high levels.

FLORIDA GOES GREEN The Florida Department of Health has taken a step toward issuing more licenses for companies to sell and grow medical marijuana with more emergency rules, POLITICO’s Arek Sarkissian reports.

On Tuesday, the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use released new emergency rules that outline the structure of the process for handling requests for issuance of more licenses. The state expects more than 40 licenses to be available by the end of June. The new rules direct the bureau to issue these licenses in batches rather than making dozens available.

Subhan Cheema is the new Director of Communications for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Cheema previously worked on the White House Covid-19 Response Team, where he was Deputy Director of Strategic Communications and External Engagement.

RWJBarnabas Health of New Jersey appointed Frank Pipas as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Balpreet Grewal-Virk as Senior Vice President of Community Health.

The American Medical Association added Suzanne Joy and Jeff Coughlin as Deputy Directors of Federal Affairs. Joy was previously Senior Advisor for Public Policy and Regulation at Holland & Knight. Coughlin was previously senior director of federal and state affairs at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

The Wall Street Journal investigates a decades-old federal program that provides drug discounts to hospitals that are not passed on to patients.

The DEA seized enough fentanyl this year to kill everyone in the United Statesreports the Washington Post.

Statistical reports on How Racism Negatively Affects Sleep and Its Many Benefits.

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of POLITICO Pulse incorrectly stated when the Covid-era Medicaid policy was supposed to end.

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