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Washington Update

Week ending 4/21/2017

House sends VA Choice Extension to Trump
On April 5, the House approved and sent to President Donald Trump legislation that would extend the Veterans' Choice Program past its expected August expiration. The bill was passed by a voice vote, following similar approval in the Senate. If signed by the president, as expected, the legislation would eliminate the August sunset date for the program and allow the VA to spend the nearly $1 billion left from an initial $10 billion in emergency funding dedicated to Choice.

Casey Signs Funding Support Letter

This week, Senator Casey's office confirmed that he has now signed onto the Wicker-Stabenow "Dear Colleague" letter which requests level funding for Community Health Centers !  We greatly appreciate his continued support and thank everyone for reaching out to his office to ask that he sign the letter.  Please take a moment to also reach out to Senator Toomey's office to ask that he also sign it by clicking here.  To date, Toomey's office has declined signing but please take this as an opportunity to reach out to his office with one voice to impress the importance of supporting health center funding so we avoid the funding cliff this fall.  The deadline to sign the letter is NEXT THURSDAY.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Jim Willshier

Harrisburg Update

Week ending 4/21/2017

HealthChoices, Community HealthChoices - What's the Difference?
A new informational document from the Department of Human Services and the Department of Aging outlines what is similar, what is different, eligibility, plan selection, managed care organizations (MCOs) by zone, implementation schedule and more to help differentiate the two programs.

Wolf Administration Hints Consolidation Details Next Week

This week, the governor's office met with public health stakeholders including PACHC to discuss its proposal to consolidate the departments of aging, drug and alcohol, health and human services into one unified department. The discussions are preliminary and plans are subject to change as negotiations with the legislature continue over the coming weeks.  The plan is being tied to passage of the state budget (by June 30).  Draft authorizing language was provided to PACHC today.  One aspect of the proposal is to have a cabinet-level appointment dedicated to drug and alcohol included in the "super agency" along with the secretary and physician general.  The administration anticipates a website dedicated to the consolidation plan will go live next week and be a means to communicate with the public moving forward.  More information on the status of the proposal will be forthcoming in the newsletter or you can contact Jim Willshier.  


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