KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law’s Prevention Funds Diverted To Other Programs In $1T Spending Bill

New details emerge about the cut to the health law's Prevention and Public Health Fund in the $1 trillion spending bill, but a jobless benefits extension in Congress stalls.  In the meantime, a mental health plan pushed by President Obama will get spending bill funds.

The New York Times: $1.1 Trillion Bill To Avoid Federal Shutdown Covers Many Local Interests
A billion-dollar public health fund created by the Affordable Care Act survived in name only. Republicans made sure that every cent of the money was parceled out to programs that are not connected to the health law (Lipton and Weisman, 1/14).

Politico Pro: Budget Bill Yields Another ACA Scramble
The deal to fund the government leaves Obamacare high and dry, raising questions about how the Obama administration will fund ongoing repair efforts and development costs for the misbegotten signup portal. The omnibus bill unveiled Monday night doesn’t provide another dime for the Affordable Care Act and it walls off one of the key pots the administration has turned to in the past -- the Prevention and Public Health Fund, established by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). That money will go to disease prevention programs, not Obamacare implementation (Norman, 1/14).

CQ HealthBeat: Obama Mental Health Plan Would Be Funded Under Obamacare
Mental-health initiatives that the Obama administration proposed in the wake of the deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., will receive sought-after funding if the omnibus spending bill released late Monday is signed into law (Attias, 1/14).

Los Angeles Times: Spending Bill Is On Track But Jobless Benefits Stall In Congress
A $1-trillion spending bill was headed for swift approval in the House by Wednesday, but legislation to extend unemployment insurance stalled in the Senate amid partisan bickering, dashing hopes for a quick deal to resume jobless benefits (Mascaro, 1/14).

The Washington Post: Unemployment Benefits Won’t Be Extended Until At Least Late January As Senate Deadlocks
With a total price tag of about $12 billion, the Republican proposal offered savings by eliminating the ability of the unemployed to receive both federal disability payments and jobless aid. Also included was a provision to extend portions of automatic spending cuts but walling off the military and Medicare providers to increased cuts. The proposal was similar in some respects to Reed’s latest, but he suggested it was also “robbing Peter to pay Peter” because some of the proposed spending cuts would hit programs that would assist the poor (Kane, 1/14).

The New York Times: Unemployment Extension Is Stalled, With 2 Proposals Defeated In The Senate
The first vote failed, 52 to 48, on a measure proposed by the Democratic leadership that would have extended benefits for 11 months. The extension would have been largely financed by continuing a 2 percent cut to Medicare health providers for an additional year, through 2024. The second vote, on the original bill, which would have extended benefits for three months at a cost of $6.4 billion, failed 55 to 45 (Parker, 1/14).

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