Overview

President Trump delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress last Tuesday. Trump discussed immigration and the recently-enacted tax reform bill, as well as his forthcoming infrastructure proposal: “Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need. Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.”

The House of Representatives was in session for two days last week ahead of the House Republicans’ annual policy retreat. The House passed the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act” (S. 534); the “Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017” (H.R. 695); and the “Financial Institution Living Will Improvement Act” (H.R. 4292). Last week the Senate passed the “DHS Blue Campaign” (H.R. 4708); and the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act” (S. 534). The Senate also voted to confirm judicial nominations as well as Matthew Bassett to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This week the House is slated to vote on the “Mortgage Choice Act of 2017” (H.R. 1153); and the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017” (H.R. 772). The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Andrei Iancu to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Both the House and Senate must vote on a new continuing resolution to extend funding for the federal government. The current continuing resolution expires on Friday, February 8.

Member Reminder

AAMS fully supports the “Ensuring Access to Air Ambulance Services Act” (H.R. 3378 and S. 2121) to address the shortfall in Medicare reimbursements for air medical services. AAMS encourages members to contact their Senators and Members of Congress to ask them to cosponsor the legislation.

The bills would reform the Medicare fee schedule for air ambulance services, starting with a cost reporting and analysis program conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), followed by: rebasing of air medical reimbursements in 2021; and implementation of a Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program beginning in 2024. The bill would enhance transparency by establishing cost and quality reporting requirements, as well as solve for a growing gap between Medicare payments and costs.

Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3378. The following Members of Congress have cosponsored the bill since its introduction:

  • Tom Cole (R-OK);
  • Jason Smith (R-MO);
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO);
  • David Loebsack (D-IA);
  • Mike Kelly (R-PA);
  • Kenny Marchant (R-TX);
  • Terri Sewell (D-AL);
  • Ed Perlmutter (D-CO);
  • Julia Brownley (D-CA);
  • Jacky Rosen (D-NV);
  • Ami Bera (D-CA);
  • Scott Tipton (R-CO); and
  • Mike Coffman (R-CO).

Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO), introduced the Senate version of the bill. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Todd Young (R-IN) have also cosponsored the bill.

More Information on the legislation, as well as on how to contact your Member of Congress and Senators: