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Pallone & Eshoo Applaud Passage of Key Health Care Provisions in the Omnibus

Mar 9, 2022
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) released the following joint statement today after the House of Representatives passed the omnibus funding package, which includes key health care provisions.

“The omnibus includes a number of important health provisions that will expand access and improve quality of care for Americans across the nation.  

“The package includes provisions that were considered in our Committee to respond to the maternal health crisis, and the inclusion of provisions from the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act is a win for public health and will improve the quality of care for new and expecting mothers. The omnibus also authorizes resources to improve best practices, train health care professionals, and better integrate maternal health care services so we can reduce maternal mortality, and prevent adverse maternal health outcomes.  

“The omnibus also closes a glaring loophole in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products that has been exploited by bad actors to lure kids and teens into using synthetic nicotine products. This fix will close the loophole and ensure FDA has the authority to regulate all tobacco products, including those containing synthetic nicotine. The bill also extends the temporary scheduling of fentanyl-related substances as Congress continues to work with the Administration to respond to the opioid and overdose crisis.  

“The funding package also increases Medicaid funding for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to ensure their residents have reliable access to high quality care. 

“Finally, we’re pleased that the package extends Medicare’s expanded coverage of telehealth services so that seniors nationwide can continue to access care virtually after the end of the public health emergency. 

“We are grateful to Members on both sides of the aisle for their hard work to advance these important provisions and look forward to seeing them signed into law soon.” 

Specifically, the omnibus:

  • Includes language clarifying FDA’s authority to regulate synthetic nicotine products and requires the agency to submit an annual report to Congress on its tobacco regulation activities.
  • Extends the temporary classification of fentanyl-related substances in schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act to December 31, 2022.
  • Increases the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for Puerto Rico to 76 percent for the period from January 1, 2022, through December 13, 2022, and provides Puerto Rico with an additional $200 million if certain requirements are met. In addition, it extends the 83 percent FMAP for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands through December 13, 2022.
  • Extends key telehealth flexibilities under Medicare for 151 days after the end of the PHE to ensure seniors have continued access to virtual care.