Congressional Corner

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Dec. 14, 2017

Last night, Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced legislation (H.J. Res. 124) to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), fund the federal government through Jan. 19, and extend funding for other important public health programs. However, this legislation uses a portion of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to offset the cost. As of this morning, it is unclear whether this bill will pass the Senate in its current form. According to media reports, it does not represent a bipartisan deal. Below please find additional information about the public health provisions in H.J. Res. 124:

  • Federal Funding: The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government expires on Dec. 22. This bill would extend the CR through Jan. 19.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): Extends funding for CHIP for five years from FY18-FY22.
  • Extends funding for the following programs: Community health centers extended through FY19; the National Health Service Corps extended through FY19; Family-to-Family Information Centers ($6 million) for FY18 and FY19.
  • Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands: Adjusts the Medicaid cap allotment for these territories.
  • Prevention and Public Health Fund: Cuts PPHF by $6.35 billion over eight years.

ASTHO continues to oppose using the PPHF to offset spending in any legislation.

In other news, late yesterday, the House and Senate announced a deal “in principle” on tax reform legislation. According to media reports, this deal will include repeal of ACA’s individual mandate. To date, Congress has not released final legislative text, therefore ASTHO cannot confirm.

ASTHO will provide a more detailed analysis in the coming week. The current environment in Washington, D.C. remains very fluid. We expect that H.J. Res. 124 is the initial draft, which will then be amended during the legislative process, potentially going back and forth between the House and Senate for multiple votes. We will update members as events unfold.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact a member of our government affairs team: Carolyn McCoy or Carolyn Mullen.