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Senate is composed of 100 elected, voting members. Legislation and tasks are divided into 20 stand- ing committees, 68 subcommittees, and 4 joint committees. The committees that have jurisdiction over health-related policy include the following: a. Appropriations Committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to the many government agencies, departments, and organizations on an annual basis and, in particular, funds discretionary programs. b. Finance Committee has jurisdiction over issues that pertain to taxation and health programs under the Social Security Act including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. c. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, as it pertains to health, authorizes agencies, institutes, and programs under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which includes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). d. Committee on Veterans’ Affairs oversees issues related to veterans’ affairs (VA), including the VA health system. e. Aging Committee was initially established as a temporary committee but transitioned to a permanent, special committee without legislative authority for matters relating to older Americans. f. Legislation is reviewed by the committee with the most jurisdiction over the provisions in the bill. For example, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 314) introduced in the Senate in 2015 was referred to the Committee on Finance because it amends the Medicare program
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