Overview

Last week, the House recessed following its vote to pass the “Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act” (H.R. 195). The Senate remained in session after it voted to approve the continuing resolution, which funds the Federal Government through February 8. The Senate also: approved the “Veteran PEER Act” (S. 1793); and confirmed Alex Azar to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This week, the House is scheduled to consider: the “Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018” (H.R. 695); the “Housing for Survivors of Sex Trafficking Act” (H.R. 3942); the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” (S. 543); and a bill “To establish requirements for use of a driver’s license or personal identification card by certain financial institutions for opening an account or obtaining a financial product or service” (H.R. 1457). The Senate plans to debate the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (S. 2311).

On Tuesday evening, the House and Senate will convene in joint session to hear the President’s State of the Union address. The speech is likely to include a focus on the forthcoming Administration infrastructure proposal. The President is also expected to tout the recently-enacted “Tax Reform and Jobs Act”.

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: