Managing Government Relations Director Ilisa Halpern Paul was quoted in a Modern Healthcare article titled, “Spending Bill Would Boost Funding for Some Healthcare Services, but not ACA.”
In early January, the House Appropriations Committee 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.
Healthcare policy experts view the bill—which was tightly negotiated between House and Senate appropriators—as an exercise in compromise and a mixed bag for healthcare. For instance, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration will see funding increases, while the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will face reductions and restrictions if Congress approves of it.
The nearly 1,600-page spending package includes all 12 regular appropriations for fiscal 2014, including the Labor, HHS and Education bill (PDF) that includes $156.8 billion in discretionary funding for this year. That's about $100 million below the fiscal 2013 level and about $9 billion below what President Barack Obama had requested for these programs, according to the House Appropriations Committee.
“While the NIH funding is an increase from last year's levels, it wasn't enough to fully restore funding that has been lost through sequestration and last year's government shutdown,” said Ilisa.
Ilisa continued, “Certainly I think the administration would have liked to see growth in that line to step up and respond to some of the challenges the agency is facing vis-a-vis ACA implementation, but I think it's clear that's not an area that others want to see grow.”