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 to Alzheimer’s.”
The GOP-controlled House will likely pass the spending bill, but legislators may ultimately be forced to rewrite the measure, given Democratic and centrist opposition over elimination of funding for Obamacare and the Family Planning (Title X) Program.
An amendment by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to cancel out defunding of the ACA was defeated along party lines.
“Yet again, this bill attempts to block funding for the … Continue reading FY18 health budget battle begins: House appropriators slate $1.1B increase for NIH while defunding ACA, Title X
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