Spending bill would boost funding for some healthcare services, but not ACA
January 15, 2014
by Jessica Zigmond
The House Appropriations Committee has unveiled a fiscal 2014 omnibus spending package that boosts funding for biomedical research, public health preparedness, and substance abuse and mental healthcare services, but offers no new funding for the president's healthcare reform law.
In a news release, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)—author of that provision in the ACA—noted this is the first time Congress actually allocated the fund's resources since its inception.
“This is a biggee,” said Rich Hamburg, deputy director for the Trust for America's Health. “For those of us involved and working on this and advocating for it, the intent of this was for Congress to allocate these funds to supplement existing funds,” he said, adding that hasn't always gone according to plan. “Nonetheless, as of the moment the president signs it, we will have seen most of $4.25 billion in additional dollars for public health prevention efforts.”
Congress on Tuesday passed a three-day spending bill so lawmakers can review the full spending package. Funding for government operations is set to expire Wednesday, based on a budget agreement that lawmakers reached last fall.
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