Last Friday (February 9), Congress passed and the President signed a bill to extend government funding through March 23 and also agreed to a massive deal to increase investments in domestic programs and the military by roughly $300 billion over the next two years. With this agreement on increased investments, Congress is expected to pass a budget bill for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30, before March 23. This will end the need for more continuing resolutions.
The law passed on Friday addressed a variety of health care issues as well:
- Extends funding for community health centers for two years
- Extends CHIP funding for 10 years (4 years longer than in the previous Continuing Resolution)
- Provides disaster relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, including Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico
- Provides $6 billion for fighting opioid addiction and boosting mental health services, $4 billion to improve health care for veterans and $2 billion to support additional research at the National Institutes of Health
- Eliminates a 15-member panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by the Affordable Care Act to control the rising costs of Medicare
- Funds these health care priorities by cutting $10 billion from Medicaid and over a billion from the ACA's prevention and public health fund.
More information about the health care provisions in the law are in this New York Times article.