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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Passes CR to Fund Government, Health Programs Through Nov. 21

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations
    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    The Senate Sept. 26 passed and President Trump Sept. 27 signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019 (H.R. 4378), a continuing resolution (CR) that temporarily extends the fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding levels for discretionary spending, delays scheduled cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, and continues mandatory appropriations for certain health programs through Nov. 21.

    In a Sept. 27 statement AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher noted, “While the AAMC appreciates enactment of a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, we are concerned that policymakers have not yet completed legislation to fully fund programs vital to patients and communities. The AAMC urges Congress and the administration to work quickly in a bipartisan manner to secure sustained, meaningful funding growth for vital health care programs.”

    The legislation would avert a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 since none of the FY 2020 spending bills have been signed into law. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 81-16. The CR previously passed the House of Representatives on Sept 19 [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 20].

    The CR would also extend several expiring health provisions. The package would delay reductions in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital allotments; provide funding at prorated current levels for Community Health Centers, Teaching Health Centers, and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC); and extend the authorization for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to receive funding from its associated trust fund, through Nov. 21.