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Health Policy Updates: February 10 2018

Congress has been working on new budget legislation with bipartisan support. Some parts are clearly positives, such as the restoration of funding for community health centers, and an even-farther-into-the-future extension of CHIP funds. On the other hand, it proposes the death of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, an Obamacare institution intended to hold down health care costs (though the board itself has never actually materialized). This may represent an important symbolic (if immediately immaterial) retreat from the idea of “bending the cost curve”.

“In a rare show of bipartisanship for the mostly polarized 115th Congress, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders announced a two-year budget deal that would increase federal spending for defense as well as key domestic priorities, including many health programs…The deal does appear to include almost every other health priority Democrats have been pushing the past several months, including two years of renewed funding for community health centers and a series of other health programs Congress failed to provide for before they technically expired last year.”

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