On June 14, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a legislative hearing examining proposals addressing issues including maternal and child health, disease research and prevention, and the pediatric health care workforce.
Despite the broader charge of the hearing, members of the subcommittee largely focused on the role of children’s hospitals in the provision of gender-affirming care to minors. Subcommittee members clashed over the CHGME Support Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 3887), which would reauthorize CHGME funding through fiscal year (FY) 2028, but prohibit funding to children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care. Committee members were largely divided by party lines on the topic, with several Republican members expressing support for the measure, raising concerns about medical and mental health consequences of gender-affirming care for minors, and some Democratic members countering that the CHGME program is critical in addressing longstanding pediatric health care workforce shortages, stressing the need for a clean reauthorization of the program. Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) has introduced legislation (H.R. 3841) that would extend the program’s authorization without the prohibition.
The subcommittee also weighed measures to promote maternal and child health, including the bipartisan Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3843), which would reauthorize funding for maternal mortality review committees through FY 2028 and direct the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to disseminate best practices on the prevention of maternal morbidity and mortality to hospitals, professional societies, and perinatal quality collaboratives at least once per fiscal year.