The U.S. House of Representatives returned to Washington, D.C. to consider the bipartisan infrastructure package, which passed the Senate on August 10 (69-30). The House voted 220-212 along party lines to set a date for consideration of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, teeing up the Build Back Better reconciliation package.
Timeline for final passage of the infrastructure package in the House of Representatives remains unclear, but NRHA is continuing to monitor developments on Capitol Hill. The Senate bill includes $65 billion for broadband connectivity buildout, with significant mention of rural. However, it does not include funding for hospital capital and extends Medicare sequestration for an additional year, until 2031. NRHA is continuing to urge Congress to amend the Senate bill, particularly the Medicare sequestration pay-for.
In terms of the Build Back Better reconciliation package, Senate Committees have been instructed to finalize the draft language for their portions of the text by September 15. Senate Democrats released an outline of what they hope to see included in the final package, which includes provisions to expand Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits and lowering the eligibility age, address health care provider shortages, improve health equity via maternal, behavioral, and racial justice health investments, and invest in community colleges and pandemic preparedness.