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April 28, 2022 | Volume 26, No. 4| Archives
Administration's Drug Control Strategy Comes Amid Record Overdoses
In This Issue:
  • Public Health Emergency is Extended Until July 15
  • Administration: Federal Budget, Equity Plans, & National Drug Control Strategy
  • SCOTUS: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Supreme Court
  • COVID Corner
  • What We’re Reading
Public Health Emergency is Extended Until July 15
The federal public health emergency declaration has been extended, and is now in effect until July 15. We’ve been warning the HCH community about the implications for Medicaid enrollment once the PHE ends, when all states will redetermine eligibility for all enrollees.
Use this extra time to advocate with your state Medicaid agency to ensure they will be protecting vulnerable people from losing coverage when they are still eligible (as will be the case for most in the HCH community). Use our fact sheet to find the insurance coverage rate among HCH clients in your state, and work with enrollment teams to be doing everything possible to prevent dis enrollment.
Also, remember those terrible Medicaid work requirements that a number of states added to their program, which would have been disastrous for the HCH community? The Supreme Court finally removed the last remaining legal challenge from Arkansas, meaning there are no longer any such policies in effect in the country. 

Administration: Federal Budget, Equity Plans, & National Drug Control Strategy

FY2023 Budget
The FY22 budget was delayed for months by continuing resolutions, and now it is time for the FY2023 budget, which the President released in late-March. See the White House Fact Sheet on the FY2023 budget, as well as HHS’s FY2023 Budget in Brief for more details about health care program funding. Items of particular interest include a $90 million increase for HRSA-funded health centers, new CMS/Medicaid funding for initiatives related to mental/behavioral health, and more than $1 billion in new funding for the SAMHSA substance use block grant.
HUD’s FY2023 Budget in Brief includes over $500 million more for homeless assistance grants, nearly $300 million more for the Community Development Fund, and approximately $2 billion more in housing investments. As always, this document is merely a guide -- Congress is responsible for appropriating funding -- but it does outline the priorities the Administration is hoping to pursue in the coming year(s).
Federal Equity Plans
Federal agencies also have submitted equity plans as required by a January White House Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. All agencies submitted plans; below are those of particular importance to the HCH community:
  • HHS Equity Action Plan and summary: New strategies include addressing the increased pregnancy and postpartum morbidity and mortality among BIPOC populations, addressing barriers faced by individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), incorporating equity considerations into Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs), implementing equity assessments across the Department's major policies and programs, and investing in resources to help advance civil rights.
  • HUD Equity Action Plan and summary: New strategies include widening the base of small and local businesses in HUD’s procurements, enforcing civil rights and fair housing laws, eliminating the racial homeownership gap, and increasing housing stability for underserved and economically insecure households.
  • USICH Equity Action Plan: Focus areas include developing the new federal strategic plan to include equity, engaging with tribal sovereign nations, and strengthening internal operations.
Substance Use/National Drug Control Strategy
Just as the CDC announced 106,854 people died due to drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021, the White House released its 2022 National Drug Control Strategy, which illustrates the Administration’s plans for addressing the addiction and overdose epidemic. Note that there is an entire chapter dedicated to harm reduction, which is a significant step forward. A shorter fact sheet is also available that outlines the two broad focus areas of the strategy: addressing untreated addiction for those at-risk of an overdose and going after drug trafficking and illicit drug profits. Remember that any significant funding or policy changes need to go through Congress.
Related Reading


Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Supreme Court
On April 7, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve on the court, replacing Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire at the end of the term this summer. Unfortunately, the toxic politics in DC overshadowed the historic event, and included racist and sexist remarks from Senators on the committee -- though many noted her poise throughout the proceedings (as in this tribute from Senator Cory Booker).

COVID Corner

Congress has yet to move forward on supplemental COVID-19 funding, so public programs aimed to provide testing, vaccines, and therapeutics are continuing to close or be curtailed. Additional funding is also needed to help provide resources for the global vaccination efforts as well, which is important to stem the pandemic worldwide. Check out yesterday’s COVID-19 Flash Blast, which has some additional information. 
What We're Reading
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Barbara DiPietro
Senior Director of Policy
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1346 
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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