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Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

HHS Updates Poverty Guidelines for Medicaid, CHIP Eligibility

February 5, 2015 | Medicaid | Comments
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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Every year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updates its poverty guidelines for eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This week, HHS announced that for 2015, the poverty guideline for a family or household of four in the continental 48 states or the District of Columbia is $24,250. The poverty rates for Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories, can be seen here.

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Senate Passes Veterans Mental Health Bill, Heads Now to White House

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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

This week, the Senate passed legislation aimed at preventing veterans’ suicide. The legislation allows the Veterans’ Administration to team with nonprofits focused on promoting mental health to carry out its suicide prevention programs. Additionally, the legislation establishes a three-year pilot program to pay for psychiatrists’ education if they work at the VA for at least two years.

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GOP Moves to Draft ACA Replacement

February 2, 2015 | Medicaid | Medicare | Uncategorized | Comments
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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Last Friday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that a trio of Republican committee chairmen will immediately get to work on drafting the party’s Affordable Care Act replacement plan. McCarthy announced the formation of the working group one day after House leaders scheduled a vote this week to fully repeal the 2010 healthcare reform law, marking the first such effort of the Republican-controlled Congress. The group, which includes Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), is also tasked with developing a “contingency plan” to prepare for a looming Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell that could undo ACA subsidies in 34 states.

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