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  • Washington Highlights

    House Committee Holds Markup on Health Legislation

    Allyson Perleoni, Director, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    The House Ways and Means Committee held a May 8 markup and advanced several health care bills. Included in the markup was the Preserving Telehealth, Hospital, and Ambulance Access Act (H.R. 8261), legislation that would, among other things, extend COVID-era telehealth waivers for two years and extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home program for five years [refer to Washington Highlights, March 15]. H.R. 8261 passed unanimously in a 41-0 vote.

    The Committee also considered the Rural Physician Workforce Preservation Act (H.R. 8235), which would alter the distribution of the 1,000 Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) positions from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260), and 200 positions from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328), to modify category one of “qualifying hospitals” under the law to narrow the definition of rural teaching hospitals. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) spoke out against the amendment, highlighting that the legislation does not address low numbers of applications for the slots from rural teaching hospitals and does not help rural teaching hospitals bear the high cost of physician training. She reminded the committee that additional GME positions are needed to help rural and urban communities alike, and noted that her bill, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023 (H.R. 2389/S. 1302), would provide 14,000 new, Medicare-supported GME slots over 14 years.

    H.R. 8235 passed in a partisan 24-16 vote, with all Democrats voting against the measure.