Omnibus Spending Bill Has New Money for HHS, Opioid Treatment

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2018 7:59 PM

President Donald Trump signed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, Friday March 23.  The measure includes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and an additional $3.6 billion for treatment of opioid addiction and mental health services.

The omnibus bill does not include measures to stabilize the health insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act, something sought by insurance companies, most Democrats, and some Republicans.

“It’s deeply disappointing that lawmakers did not include critical market stabilization measures in the Omnibus budget bill that would have made coverage more affordable for individuals and families, especially those who are not eligible for assistance in purchasing coverage,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield Senior Vice President Justine Handelman, who predicted premiums will spike without stabilization.

Telemedicine sees an increase in funding in the bill, with broadband expansion subsidized to the tune of $600 million, and as much as $82 million going to three grant programs for the modality.

Within the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health would receive the biggest funding increase ($3 billion), but most agencies within the department will send very modest increases in funding or none at all. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would receive $4 billion for administrative spending, no higher than last year’s budget.

Source: NAHC

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