Look Ahead: Committee Announces Hearings for Week of April 22

April 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced its schedule for the week of April 22, 2013. Beginning on Wednesday, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee continues its rigorous oversight of Obamacare with an examination of the health care law’s implementation. On Thursday, the Health Subcommittee will review a discussion draft of “track and trace” legislation to secure pharmaceuticals while the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will examine the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program. Finally, on Friday, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will continue its examination of mental health in the wake of the Newtown tragedy with a review of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy rule.

On Wednesday, April 24, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on “The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight  (CCIIO) and the Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” CCIIO Director Gary Cohen will answer questions about the agency’s efforts to implement the health care law. The subcommittee will examine the agency’s progress in building the health insurance exchanges, the recently suspended Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, and additional implementation issues. The Majority Memorandum and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

On Thursday, April 25, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on “Securing Our Nation's Prescription Drug Supply Chain.” The subcommittee will examine ideas to improve the safety of our nation’s drug supply chain and hear testimony from the Food and Drug Administration and experts within the supply chain on ways to improve the security of pharmaceuticals. A discussion draft on related legislation will be circulated prior to the hearing. The draft legislation, Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Also on Thursday, April 25, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on “The Lifeline Fund: Money Well Spent?” Next Thursday’s hearing will examine the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program, which has tripled in size from $800 million in 2009 to $2.2 billion per year in 2012. In advance of the hearing, Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) sent a series of letters to obtain more information on the government’s efforts to reform the program and determine what more can be done.

The members also requested the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) provide assistance gathering best practices from states taking steps to combat waste, fraud and abuse. This hearing will allow the subcommittee to explore whether these practices might be a good model for the FCC or other states to follow. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Finally, on Friday, April 26, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on “Does HIPAA Help or Hinder Patient Care and Public Safety?” Building on the March 5, 2013 bipartisan public forum, “After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness,” this hearing seeks to address concerns that the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy rule may interfere with the timely and continuous flow of health information between health care providers, patients, and families, thereby impeding patient care, and in some cases, public safety. The subcommittee will hear from the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services – the office responsible for administering and enforcing the HIPAA privacy rule – as well as legal experts, health care practitioners, and family members of individuals with serious medical conditions who have had first-hand experience of the privacy rule impeding communication and quality of treatment. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, April 24
10 a.m.
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Hearing on “The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and the Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”

Thursday, April 25
10 a.m.
2322 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Health
Hearing on “Securing Our Nation's Prescription Drug Supply Chain”

10:30 a.m.
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Hearing on “The Lifeline Fund: Money Well Spent?”

Friday, April 26
9 a.m.
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Hearing on “Does HIPAA Help or Hinder Patient Care and Public Safety?”

 

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