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  • April 9, 2021

Washington Update - April 9, 2021


MONDAY CALL — The next Public Policy Update Call will be held on Monday, April 12, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Please register in advance.

CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULE — The House and Senate will be in session next week after being out of session the last two weeks.


Ask House members to sign CHGME Dear Colleague letter – Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, are asking House colleagues to join them on a sign-on letter to House Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee leaders in support of strong FY 2022 funding for the CHGME program. We are extremely grateful to Reps. Eshoo and Johnson for again leading this effort to mobilize bipartisan support for the CHGME program. Please ask your representatives to sign on to the Eshoo-Johnson letter. To co-sign the letter, House offices should fill out this form by COB on April 21. The staff points of contact on the letter are Aisling McDonough with Rep. Eshoo or Sam Hattrup with Rep. Bill Johnson. John Knapp

Urge Hill offices to submit programmatic funding requests supporting CHGME – In addition to asking House members to sign the Eshoo-Johnson Dear Colleague letter, children’s hospitals should continue to reach out to lawmakers in both chambers and ask them to submit programmatic funding requests supporting our request for $485 million in FY 2022 funding. Resources are available on our website to support this outreach, including a letter signed by more than 20 organizations, letters to House and Senate appropriators and talking points to support this request. 

On Friday, the White House released a preliminary “skinny” budget including top-line information on proposed agency funding levels. This release does not include any information on CHGME proposed funding. We expect additional details on the president’s budget to be released in the coming weeks. John Knapp

File 2021 Q1 lobbying reports due April 20 – LD-2 first quarter federal lobbying reports, covering Jan. 1 – March 31, 2021, are due Tuesday, April 20. When completing Q1 LD-2 Lobbying Activity Reports, members should use 16.46% as the portion of N.A.C.H. dues applied toward lobbying activity. Will Dolive


Behavioral health trends featured in NBC News – As part of our behavioral health awareness campaign, we provided data to NBC News highlighting trends in children’s hospitals that demonstrates an increase in suicidal ideation and self-harm in young children from 2016 to 2020. According to our data, the number of children ages 6-12 who visited children’s hospitals for suicidal thoughts or self-harm has more than doubled since 2016. The story was also mentioned in last night’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt.” Gillian Ray

Updated kids coverage fact sheet – We recently updated a fact sheet that provides a breakdown of the type of coverage kids in America receive. Over 95% of children are currently insured through a variety of programs including: Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), TRICARE, individual commercial health insurance sold through the Exchanges and employer sponsored insurance (ESI). Jan Kaplan

Coalition letter to Secretary Becerra on habilitation services – We signed on to a letter introducing the Habilitation Coalition to HHS Secretary Becerra and highlighting the importance of protecting and strengthening the ACA’s coverage of habilitative services and devices as part of the essential health benefit (EHB) package. Jan Kaplan

Administration withdraws rule that would restrict immigrant families’ eligibility for housing subsidies – On April 2, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) withdrew a Trump administration proposed rule that would have eliminated mixed-status families’ eligibility for prorated housing subsidies under Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980. Section 214 limits access to federally subsidized housing programs to U.S. citizens and a specific list of noncitizen categories, and nearly all children in mixed-status families who receive Section 214 assistance are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who live with parents or other adults who do not have eligible immigration status.

When issuing the proposed rule, HUD estimated that more than 55,000 eligible U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children would be put at risk of losing their housing subsidies resulting in increased housing insecurity and homelessness. Given the serious negative impacts of homelessness and housing insecurity on the health of children and their long-term well-being and development, we joined with eight other children’s health groups in a comment letter that urged HUD to withdraw the rule and continue to follow current regulations. Jan Kaplan


2021 Family Advocacy Week – Registration for Family Advocacy Week is now open. While we all look forward to safely attending CHA events in person, we’ll conduct a virtual Family Advocacy Week June 13-18, 2021. Like this past summer’s event, customized digital collateral will be produced for each patient champion. Before beginning your registration, we recommend you print the questions and provide them to your family to answer. Elleni Almandrez


Key lawmakers document for 117th Congress available – To assist members in their outreach to Congress, we have prepared a document listing key Capitol Hill lawmakers, both party leaderships in each chamber and the rosters of key committees in the House and Senate. John Knapp

Frequently updated COVID-19 resources for GRs:

Resource for Interactive Child Health (RICH) Data – A new interactive dashboard is available for GRs that is specially designed to help educate policymakers about the status of children’s health in their states. The resource includes reliable data drawn from credible sources and is updated regularly. The resource can also be tailored to highlight state-specific stats and printed as a handout. We hope this will be a helpful resource for your state and federal work. Alex Rothenburger