On tap today: Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will defend President Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget before the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee this afternoon. Becerra will also appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m.
What to expect: There are three main proposals in the president’s budget request that panel Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and other Republicans on the panel plan to grill Becerra on during the hearing, according to people familiar with the matter. Those include:
- Expanding the Medicare drug negotiation and inflation rebate policies that were included in the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
- Raising taxes on Americans earning over $400,000 in an attempt to shore up Medicare financing for at least another 25 years.
- Making beefed-up financial aid for those purchasing Obamacare plans permanent.
While Becerra was summoned to Capitol Hill to discuss the president’s budget, lawmakers could use the opportunity to quiz him on a variety of health policies. He’s likely to face criticism and tough questions from Republicans on the federal health department’s final rule addressing the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch,” its implementation of surprise billing protections and its strategy to combat illicit fentanyl trafficking, people familiar with the matter said.
What we’re watching tomorrow: Becerra will testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee at 10 a.m. Wednesday.