Health Center Federal Policy, Uncategorized

Prospects Dimming for Senate Consideration of the FTCA for Volunteers’ Legislation

by Anne Morris, MPH

Since we last reported on passage of the FTCA for Volunteers’ bill (H.R. 1745, the Family Health Care Accessibility Act) in the House of Representatives, NACHC staff has continued meeting with Democratic and Republican staff on the Senate HELP Committee (and staff of Members on HELP) to advocate for Senate consideration of this measure.

Unfortunately, the HELP Committee recently held a Committee mark-up where a few pieces of legislation were considered, and the FTCA for Volunteers’ bill was not among these bills.  The standard required for consideration in this mark-up was unanimous support of the Members of the Committee.

We now know there was at least one Senator who expressed concerns about the FTCA for Volunteers’ bill, and thus FTCA for Volunteers was not included in the markup.

NACHC staff continue outreach efforts to HELP Committee staff to identify opportunities for future consideration of the FTCA bill and to address concerns and questions raised about this bill.

However, it seems unlikely that HELP will consider any additional legislation this year due to several factors, including the Senate Republican pledge to block any legislation before completion of legislative activity on FY2011 appropriations measures and tax measures that expire on December 31st.

We will continue to work on this issue through the end of the year and update you if and when there’s any news.