Congressional lawmakers avoided a government shutdown last week by agreeing on the contours of a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, but at the potential cost of trims to several healthcare programs, report the New York Times and California Healthline.
The cuts include all programs that are not subject to the annual Congressional appropriations review process. That includes a potential $3.5 billion reduction to the Children's Health Insurance Program, representing the total of unused program funds on an annual basis.
The budget agreement would also zero in on some programs that were included as part of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among them would be a $2.2 billion reduction in funding for health insurance cooperatives and exchanges.
In addition to those pending cuts, plans to double research funding at the National Science Foundation would also be reduced in scale.
However, the budget agreement would preserve funding for all 1,100 community health centers that receive federal monies, eliminate previous planned cuts in grants to the state maternal and child health programs, and increase funding to the Food and Drug Administration by $400 million, or 2 percent.