Legislative & Policy Corner

House Passes Budget Resolution Calling for Deeper Health Program Cuts
On Mar. 29, the House passed the fiscal year 2013 budget resolution developed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) along party lines. This budget will serve as the blueprint for the House spending and taxing plans for the duration of the year. Notably, this resolution sets spending caps at $1.028 trillion which is $19 billion lower than the caps established by the Budget Control Act. The Senate, on the other hand, agreed to draft the annual funding legislation using the $1.047 trillion cap established by the Budget Control Act. These differing spending caps set the House appropriations legislation on a collision course with the Senate and it is unclear how these differences will be resolved in the final fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills.

The budget resolution also strives to replace the $109 billion sequester, which is scheduled to occur in January in order to protect the Department of Defense from certain cuts. Moreover, the budget assumes that the Affordable Care Act is repealed, thus achieving additional savings. The budget also assumes that legislation will be enacted to block grant both Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It is therefore expected that Congress may debate this issue during the upcoming months. AMCHP will continue to monitor these developments.

Finally, it is important to note that the budget resolution is an important tool that sets a pathway for members of Congress and sets the overall spending caps for the annual appropriation bills, which is significant. However, the resolution does not have the force of law and many of the proposals included in this document will not be considered by the Senate. AMCHP continues to work with the broader public health community opposing efforts to continue to cut domestic discretionary programs.

In case you missed it…AMCHP Testified Before U.S. Congress
On Mar. 29, AMCHP CEO Mike Fraser testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee about the importance of sustaining funding for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. Click here for additional information.