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Here we share updates on policies to inform our members on what's going on in the world of public health and other topics! We encourage you to learn about issues in your community and ways you can be involved. 


LCPH POLICY UPDATES
JUNE 2019 
By Gloria Miranda – Policy Chair for the Latino Caucus


House Appropriations Committee passes FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill
  • House passes health care bills that strengthen the Affordable Care Act
  • House passes the Equality Act to ban LGBTQ discrimination
  • Health organizations urge HHS to withdraw the proposed rule to undermine LGBTQ non-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act
  • APHA supports public health infrastructure in the LIFT America Act

House Appropriations Committee passes FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill with a significant boost in funding for public health programs 
  • On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2020 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, drafted by House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill will provide funding for a number of APHA priorities. The full House is expected to take up the bill beginning on June 12 when it will be packaged with the FY 2020 Defense Appropriations bill and three other FY 2020 spending bills when it is considered on the House floor.

House passes health care bills that strengthen the Affordable Care Act 
  • In May, the House passed two bills that put provisions in place to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. On May 9, the House passed H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act of 2019, by a vote of 230-183, revoking recent guidance allowing states to seek waivers that threaten protections for people with pre-existing conditions. On May 16, the House passed H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, by a vote of  234-183. The bill includes provisions that strengthen access to comprehensive and affordable health care. It is unlikely the Senate will take up these bills, to the Senate floor for a vote.

House passes the Equality Act to ban LGBTQ discrimination 
  • On May 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act by a bipartisan vote of  236-173,  which would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in areas including education, housing, employment, public accommodations and facilities, federally funded programs, credit, and jury service; and it would also update U.S. laws. It is unlikely the Senate will take up the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

Health organizations urge HHS to withdraw the proposed rule to undermine LGBTQ non-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act 
  • On May 24, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a proposed rule to weaken nondiscrimination protections and allow protections for LGBTQ under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. APHA joined 29 other public health and medical associations in sending a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging him to reconsider plans to revise the Section 1557 and adopt HHS strategies for better access to health services and improved health of LGBTQ people in the United States.

APHA supports public health infrastructure in the LIFT America Act 
  • On May 15, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., introduced H.R. 2741, the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act. The bill would authorize 3.75 billion in funding for a broad number of efforts to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure and data systems at CDC to support agencies and programs at the national, state, local, tribal and territorial levels to protect and improve the public’s health.
    APHA submitted a 
    letter in support of the public health provisions

Current news on APHA Advocacy Issues

With so much happening in Washington, D.C., we are highlighting current issues that APHA is supporting:

  • Health organization letter to the U.S. Senate in support of the International Climate Accountability Act
  • Organization letter in support of the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act of 2019
  • Health organization letter to the House Armed Services Committee urging the inclusion of the Burn Pits Accountability Act in the FY 20 National Defense Authorization bill
  • Organization letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders requesting strong federal investments in FY 2020 to support efforts to reduce excessive levels of sodium in the school meal program and to support consumer-awareness campaigns for the updated Nutrition Facts label and menu labeling
  • Health organization letter supporting H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019
  • Health organization letter to the House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee leaders in support of the House FY 2020 funding level for CDC's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program
  • APHA comments to EPA regarding the advance notice of proposed rulemaking on a training, certification and limited access program for commercial users of methylene chloride
  • APHA testimony before the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, House Energy and Commerce Committee, in support of H.R. 1603, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019
  • APHA testimony supporting increased FY 2020 funding for CDC and HRSA submitted for the record to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies