All Eyes on Debt Limit Negotiations
AMCHP is closely monitoring the high level negotiations over increasing the national debt limit. An agreement to raise this limit – expected to occur prior to August 2 – will likely require significant spending cuts. Few details are emerging from the tense negotiations, but MCH and public health advocates are becoming increasingly worried about the potential impact on discretionary health programs and possibly Medicaid and CHIP funding. AMCHP continues to work in coalitions supporting a policy of balanced deficit reduction that does not disproportionately cut vital programs such as the Title V MCH Services Block Grant.
Meanwhile, mark up of a House Labor HHS Appropriations bill that could give a first glimpse of proposed Title V funding levels for FY 2012 is set for July 26.
Progress to Reauthorize the Combating Autism Act
The Senate bill to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act (S. 1094) now has 10 bipartisan cosponsors. A House companion bill (H.R. 2005) now has 13 bipartisan cosponsors. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is currently scheduled to markup S. 1094 in mid-July, although the House Energy and Commerce Committee has not yet scheduled a markup. Colleagues at the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) have created a website with additional information and an action center for those who are able to contact members of Congress to educate them about the importance of reauthorizing this law. To view the bill text and action alert, visit AUCD's website.