Happening On The Hill: Extending Liability Protections, A New 9/11 Vote

Legislation to provide federal medical liability coverage to volunteers at community health clinics will cost more than earlier expected, The Hill's Healthwatch Blog reports. "The Family Health Care Accessibility Act, which cleared the Energy and Commerce Committee in late July, would cost about $18 million over five years, according to CBO, with annual expenditures progressively rising to $6 million in 2015. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), a co-sponsor along with Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), said earlier estimates were ... $1.5 million a year." However, that's a relatively small amount in federal terms (Pecquet, 9/8).

The Hill, in a separate story: "The Democratic leadership has agreed to hold a new vote on a bill guaranteeing healthcare for first responders to the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, the bill's sponsors said Wednesday." The bill failed in July when the House took it up under a special procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for passage (Pecquet, 9/8).

CQ Health Beat: "The legislation is expected to come to the floor under a rule that would require a simple majority for passage. When it was first voted upon July 29, it failed to earn a two-thirds majority necessary for passage under suspension of rules, largely due to Republican objections about its funding offsets" (Ethridge, 9/8).

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