Re­duc­tion in preven­tion bud­get would fund in­ter­est-rate bill

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The House passed a bill that would cut $5.9 bil­lion in health­care fund­ing to pay for a freeze in in­ter­est rates on stu­dent loans, an ap­proach that drew a veto threat from the White House. The bill, passed 215-195, would pay for the cost of pre­vent­ing a dou­bling of stu­dent loan in­ter­est rates in July through cuts to the 2010 health­care law’s Preven­tion and Public Health Fund. The Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act pro­vided an ad­vanced ap­pro­pri­a­tion of about $16 bil­lion for the fund, as well as about $2 bil­lion in an­nual ap­pro­pri­a­tions. The White House Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get, in a state­ment shortly be­fore the House vote, called the leg­is­la­tion “a po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated pro­posal.” House Democrats, who pre­ferred an ap­proach funded by elim­i­nat­ing some tax de­duc­tions for oil and gas com­pa­nies, said cuts to the preven­tion fund was part of the Repub­li­cans’ “war on women” be­cause it partly would pay for screen­ing for dis­eases that af­fect pri­mar­ily women. Repub­li­cans coun­tered that mem­bers of both par­ties voted ear­lier this year to cut $5 bil­lion from the fund to help stave off cuts in physi­cian’s Medi­care pay rates, and the pres­i­dent’s bud­get is­sued in Fe­bru­ary pro­posed cut­ting an ad­di­tional $4 bil­lion from the fund. HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius also ac­knowl­edged in tes­ti­mony be­fore the House Ed­u­ca­tion and the Work­force Com­mit­tee that cuts to the fund would not elim­i­nate ac­cess to pre­ven­tive ser­vices. Se­nate Democrats would pre­fer to fund the in­ter­est-rate freeze through in­creased pay­roll taxes on some high-in­come fil­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.