by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While Congress spends much of its time trying to reach a deal to repeal Obamacare, other must-pass healthcare issues are getting short shrift, and time is running out.
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expires at the end of the summer. So does an agreement for user fee programs for devices and drugs at the Food and Drug Administration.
Both measures need to be reauthorized before Congress’ month-long August recess, which starts at the end of July.
While that may seem like enough time, Congress is also pressing forward on other major legislation such as tax reform and overhauling the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, which promise to eat up a lot of time.
If the FDA and insurance programs are not reupped, more than 8 million low-income children could lose their insurance and FDA reviews of new drugs and devices may come to a grinding halt.
Some lawmakers admitted that they weren’t aware of the issues because of the emphasis on the Obamacare repeal.
“To tell you quite frankly, we have been so knee deep in everything else I hadn’t looked at it yet,” said Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.