publication date: Jul. 14, 2017

FY18 health budget battle begins: House appropriators slate $1.1B increase for NIH while defunding ACA, Title X

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Labor-HHS marked up the fiscal 2018 spending bill—voting 9-6 along party lines on legislation that would prohibit the use of any new discretionary funding in connection with the Affordable Care Act.

The bill includes $156 billion in discretionary spending, which is $5 billion below the fiscal 2017 enacted level. Nevertheless, this amount is $5 billion above the fiscal 2018 sequestration cap enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The sequester will automatically activate unless a deal—much like the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 achieved by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)—is reached.

Legislators will have to come to a bipartisan agreement to lift the cap or risk losing a total of $10 billion from the Labor-HHS pot, compared to fiscal 2017 levels.

“The [Labor-HHS] appropriations bill again achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending, while remaining committed to important national priorities,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) said in a statement. “For a third consecutive year, it allocates a significant funding increase of $1.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which will benefit a wide range of biomedical programs, including public health preparedness and readiness in biodefense, and research programs to find cures spanning from cancer … Continue reading FY18 health budget battle begins: House appropriators slate $1.1B increase for NIH while defunding ACA, Title X

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