KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lawmakers Introduce $1T Spending Bill With Health Law Prevention Fund Cuts

The $1 trillion spending bill that lawmakers introduced Monday cuts $1 billion from the health law's Prevention and Public Health Fund and holds down funding for other health law programs to 2013 levels, but leaves it otherwise untouched. The package also funds the National Institutes of Health, but at lower levels than approved by Congress in 2013 and continues a ban on the federal government paying for abortions in the District of Columbia.

The New York Times: House and Senate Negotiators Agree on Spending Bill
House and Senate negotiators reached accord on a trillion-dollar spending plan that will finance the government through September, reversing some cuts to military veterans’ pensions that were included in a broader budget agreement last month and defeating efforts to rein in President Obama’s health care law. … Republicans do get to point to some conservative victories. The bill would cut $1 billion from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which Republicans have long targeted, fearing the administration would use it to bolster the law’s online insurance exchanges. … Otherwise, the bill’s winners and losers seem to follow no patterns. The National Institutes of Health, long a congressional favorite, would get $29.9 billion, down $714 million from the level approved by Congress for 2013. In all, the N.I.H. would end up with only $1 million more than it did last year after the across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, severely curtailed its research grants (Weisman, 1/13).

The Washington Post: Lawmakers Unveil Massive $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill In Bipartisan Compromise
Given barely a month to complete work on the package, [Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.] and [House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky.,] were able to overcome early partisan disputes over funding for the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, and payments due to the International Monetary Fund, a frequent target of conservatives. … The measure also continues a ban on the use of federal funding to perform most abortions, including abortions in the District and for federal prisoners. But Republicans agreed to jettison other contentious proposals, including a ban on new federal regulations for greenhouse gases and the “global gag rule,” which sought to prohibit U.S. funding for organizations that give women information about abortion (Montgomery and O’Keefe, 1/13).

The Wall Street Journal: House, Senate Negotiators Seal $1 Trillion Spending Deal
Negotiators dropped many of the policy riders Republicans had pushed to reverse or block administration policies on environmental regulation, abortion and other issues. However, the bill didn't include funding for administration priorities conservatives opposed, such as construction of high speed rail. The bill held funding for the agency responsible for implementing the 2010 health care law at 2013 levels, and cut $1 billion from a related public-health fund (Hook, 1/13).

USA Today: Lawmakers Release $1 Trillion Spending Bill
The "omnibus" spending bill is a sweeping piece of legislation that includes all 12 of the annual bills that provide funding for all discretionary federal spending. It does not include mandatory spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare (Page, 1/13).

Politico: $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Unveiled
Under pressure from Republicans, the measure keeps a tight rein on new funding for Wall Street regulators and effectively freezes appropriations for President Barack Obama’s health care program at the reduced, post-sequester level (Rogers, 1/13).

The Hill: Spending Bill Rolls Back Funding For Controversial Obamacare Program
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Monday trumpeted funding cuts to some of the GOP’s most despised Obamacare programs in the newly unveiled $1 trillion omnibus spending bill (Easley, 1/13).

Politico: No Appetite For Another Obamacare Fiscal Battle
The debt limit will have to be hiked sometime between late February and early June, depending on various government estimates. But congressional Republicans from across the ideological spectrum are already skeptical of trying to extract concessions from Democrats on the Affordable Care Act — a dynamic that triggered an unpopular government shutdown last fall (Kim, 1/13).

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