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April 19, 2021

House Appropriations hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services FY 2022 budget request

On April 15, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing entitled, “FY 2022 Budget Request for the Department of Health and Human Services,” featuring testimony from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. Throughout his testimony, Secretary Becerra highlighted the Biden Administration’s HHS priorities, as outlined in their “skinny” budget request, including investments in preparedness and response for the next public health crisis, reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, addressing opioid and substance use disorders, expanding access to mental health care, developing the public health workforce, and supporting innovative research, among other items. Secretary Becerra also said that equity will “permeate everything we do” and noted big investments in social determinants of health and partnerships with local communities.

Chairman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) applauded the public health investments both in the proposed HHS budget as well as the recent investments through the American Jobs Plan, stressing the need to make continued investments in the public health infrastructure which has “utterly collapsed under the weight of this pandemic.” Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) applauded the budget’s investments in the opioid crisis, maternal mortality and pandemic preparedness, but said it “simply spends more than our nation can afford.” The Chair and Ranking Member both also mentioned the Hyde amendment, staking out opposing view reflected by others on the committee. Several Republicans also noted their concern around provider conscience exceptions, use of fetal tissue in research, and regulations around abortion and birth control. Members from across the aisle expressed support for investments in maternal health, mental health and substance use, pandemic preparedness and more. Democrats also applauded investments in community- and home-based care, childcare, and gun violence research. Several members of the committee also highlighted the concerning influx of migrant children to HHS facilities and Secretary Becerra noted the funding to ensure appropriate care and a focus on facilitating placement with sponsors. Secretary Becerra also committed to applying lessons learned from the provision of telehealth, a robust consultative process for upcoming surprise billing regulations, and more.

Additional infomation if available in the attached Tax Alert.


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Washington Council Ernst & Young
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Department of Health and Human Services FY 2022 budget request