Legislative Update – Week of April 10, 2023

Apr 11, 2023

Last week:

In DC, the National Institute of Health (NIH) announced the release of a National Cancer Plan to coordinate a national response to achieving the goals of the Cancer Moonshot and deliver better cancer outcomes to all people. This announcement follows remarks by President Biden commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act in 2022 and his commitment to “end cancer, as we know it today.” The plan details eight goals: prevent cancer, detect cancer early, develop effective treatments, eliminate inequities, deliver optimal care, engage every person, maximize data utility, and optimize the workforce.

In Massachusetts, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh announced that Robbie Goldstein, MD, Ph.D. will be the next Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH), effective April 18, 2023. Dr. Goldstein is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

Governor Healey announced the establishment of a Latino Empowerment Council led by Archipelago Strategies Group CEO Josiane Martinez and La Colaborativa executive director Gladys Vega. The 40-member group, which brings together Latino leaders from Beacon Hill and beyond, will advise the governor on expanding economic opportunities for and improving the “overall well-being” of the state’s growing Latino population.

Also, Governor Healey’s proposal to split the Housing and Economic Development secretariat into two separate offices was given a favorable report by the State Administration Committee.

This week:

In DC, Congress is in recess.

In Massachusetts on Tuesday, the Joint Ways and Means Committee will hold its last public hearing on Governor Healey’s $55.5 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year 2024. The final planned budget hearing typically features testimony from any invited groups that were not able to participate in earlier hearings and will be opened up for public testimony as well.

On Wednesday, House Democrats plan to meet in a private caucus, where they will likely release their proposed the fiscal year 2024 budget bill. Speaker, Mariano, has also signaled that the House will release its proposal for tax relief and reform before the budget. Also on Wednesday, the Health Policy Commission will meet to vote on the benchmark for total healthcare spending growth in 2024 and to consider a new regulation for the Office of Patient Protection. The Center for Health Information and Analysis estimated last month that per capita healthcare expenditures shot up 9 percent in 2021 after having dropped 2.3 percent in 2020. The meeting will also include a discussion of “addressing health-related social needs and increasing access to timely behavioral health services.”

Saturday, April 15, marks the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The city and the Boston Athletic Association will hold a private gathering and wreath-laying event for the families who lost loved ones at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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