Congress Nears Spending Agreement to Avoid Shutdown

On September 26, the U.S. House passed a House/Senate FY2019 spending agreement for several agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which would receive $899.2 billion. The lopsided House vote of 361-61 included the Massachusetts House delegation voting with the majority.

CMS would receive the vast majority of the funding (approximately $797 billion), with the remaining dollars going to various HHS agencies and centers, such as the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). CMS funding mostly is allocated to mandatory programs, with $378.3 billion and $276.2 billion allocated to Medicare and Medicaid, respectively.

Other notable funding allocations include:
$1.1 billion for HRSA’s health workforce programs, which is nearly $639 million more than requested by the agency. There also is a $25 million grant for medical schools at public universities in states with the highest projected primary care shortage.
SAMHSA would receive $3.82 billion, an increase of $555.3 million over FY 2018. This funding is allocated mostly to efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.