I. What’s What in Health Policy >> A. Federal Government >> Federal Legislative Branch >> Senate (last updated 12.8.16)


The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the House of Representatives.

Senate Standing Committees

  • Appropriations. Jurisdiction includes all discretionary funding for federal programs.  Key subcommittee which covers health policy issues includes: a) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
  • Armed Services. Jurisdiction includes all military funding, including military health programs (CHAMPUS).
  • Budget. This committee establishes nonbinding target amounts for all health spending.
  • Finance. Jurisdiction includes Medicare, Medicaid and taxes.  Key subcommittees which cover health policy issues include: a) Health for Families and the Uninsured; b) Medicare and Long-Term Care; c) Social Security and Family Policy; and d) Taxation.
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Jurisdiction includes Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
  • Indian Affairs. Jurisdiction includes Indian Health.
  • Judiciary. Jurisdiction includes antitrust; health fraud and tort reform.
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Jurisdiction includes health funding authorizations.  Key subcommittees which cover health policy issues include: a) Aging; b) Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism; c) Disability Policy; and d) Labor.

Senate Special, Select and Other Committees

  • Special Committee on Aging. Although special committees have no legislative authority, this Committee has conducted studies of Medicare, prescription drug pricing, nursing home industry and other health issues related to elderly.

Senate Organization


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