House committee unveils short-term spending bill
The House Appropriations Committee introduced a short-term spending bill that includes millions in cuts to federal healthcare programs while the House, Senate and White House try to reach agreement on a longer-term funding bill for the rest of the fiscal year. The House this month approved a massive spending bill that sought to cut more than $60 billion in government spending compared with fiscal 2010 levels and about $100 billion from the fiscal 2011 request that President Barack Obama requested, but was not enacted. That continuing resolution included billions in cuts to healthcare, as well as several amendments to defund last year’s healthcare reform law. Federal lawmakers must agree on legislation to continue funding the government by March 4, when the current funding mechanism expires. The new bill would terminate eight government programs, none of which fall under HHS. But it would seek to cut funding for certain HHS programs and agencies, including $397 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration, $21 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $15 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, $3 million for program management at CMS, and $2 million from departmental management in the HHS secretary’s office.