Stay ahead of developments in federal and state health care law, regulation and transactions with timely, expert news and analysis.
Republican appropriators rejected President Donald Trump’s plan to cut medical research funding, giving the NIH a $1.1 billion increase while cutting overall HHS spending by more than half a billion and defunding Obamacare.
The House Appropriations Committee released July 12 its draft bill for labor-health and human services, and education programs. It is the last of the 12 spending plans to be released by the committee and comes out one day before the labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee is expected to hold a markup of the bill. The draft bill would prohibit the use of any new discretionary funding to implement the Affordable Care Act.
“This bill reflects Republican priorities to cut spending and focus investments in programs our people need the most—public health and medical research, biodefense, fundamental education, and proven programs that increase job growth, for example,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said in a July 12 statement. “It also includes important provisions to stop government overreach.”
The National Institutes of Health emerged as the clear winner of the labor-HHS spending package.
The White House’s proposed budget recommended cutting the agency’s budget to about $26.6 billion, but the House appropriators instead offered $8.6 billion above the president’s budget request. Under the House plan, the NIH’s budget would increase to $35.2 billion in the 2018 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget would fall to $77.6 billion overall, a decrease of $542 million from last year’s enacted level and $14.5 billion above the president’s budget request. Labor and education programs would realize much steeper cuts as the overall labor-health spending portfolio would fall by $5 billion.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the labor-health panel in Appropriations, applauded the NIH increase but said the Republican spending plan would cut millions of dollars for programs for mental health and substance abuse prevention, eliminate the Minority HIV/AIDS initiative, and cut the Community Services Block Grant program.
“Budgets reflect our values,” DeLauro said in a statement, "[T]his bill is an assault on American workers, public health, and students.”
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla), chairman of the labor-health panel, told Bloomberg BNA the NIH “is one of our priorities. We want to keep supporting the work they do.”
House appropriators also rejected the Trump administration’s plan to cut the administrative costs tied to research grants at the NIH. Universities decried the proposal as a plan that could shutter research programs across the country. Cole told Bloomberg BNA July 11 the health appropriations panel will examine the issue in the fall.
“We’re going to tread very lightly there because I think you could do a lot of damage to the biomedical infrastructure of the country,” Cole said.
Appropriators also appeared to reject another Trump administration proposal to fold the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality into the NIH and close the NIH’s international center. The House spending plan provides $300 million for AHRQ, which is $24 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.
The draft bill also prohibits funds for the n avigators program to help consumers enroll in health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace. It also prohibits the collection of user fees from the health insurance exchanges.
The House’s spending package also includes:
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeannie Baumann in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Alex Ruoff in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randy Kubetin at RKubetin@bna.com
The draft bill is available at http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP07/20170713/106250/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2018-LaborHHS-LaborHHSFY2018.pdf.
The July 13 marking will be webcaste at https://appropriations.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=394967.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)