On Thursday, the House (231-88) and Senate (66-32) approved a continuing resolution (CR) funding the government through January 19, 2018. The bill contains several additional provisions, some of which are paid for through reductions in the Prevention and Public Health Fund. In addition to the CR, the bill:
- Authorizes $550 million for Community Health Centers, $65 million for the National Health Service Corps, and an additional $15 million for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program for the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2018.
- Redirects $750 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to support the extension of funding for these programs (FY 2019: -$100M, FY 2020: -$200M, FY 2021: -$200M, and FY 2022: -$250M – this amounts to a 20 percent cut to the PPHF funding over five years).
- Provides for the Children’s Health Insurance Program $2.85 billion for the first two quarters of FY2018 (with certain conditions);
- Provides $2.1 billion in mandatory funding for the Veterans Choice program; and
- Waives automatic sequestration cuts to Medicare and dozens of other federal programs, which would kick in because of the deficit impact of the tax overhaul bill.
Congress did NOT enact three major legislative proposals that has been considered during the debate over a CR extension: disaster assistance, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program extension, or an Affordable Care Act insurance market stabilization bill.