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House set to consider healthcare spending cuts


By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: February 13, 2011 - 11:00 am ET
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House Republicans this week will consider their plan to continue funding the government for the current fiscal year with a bill that includes steep discretionary spending cuts, including about $9 billion to HHS.

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The House Appropriations Committee released the bill late Friday known as a Continuing Resolution (PDF), which calls for more than $100 billion overall in reductions to federal spending, including about $1.6 billion in cuts to the National Institutes of Health and $1.3 billion cuts to the nation's community health centers.

The bill also proposes cuts of about $923 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $482 million to the CMS, $386 million to health professions and $174 million to the National Health Service Corps. View the list of proposed reductions (PDF).

“The Continuing Resolution is just a start, and we have much more work to do to change our country's fiscal path and create jobs," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement. "And you will see that start to take shape in the budget that Chairman Paul Ryan is putting together.”

Cantor's mention of the budget refers to the Republicans' financial framework for fiscal 2012, while the Continuing Resolution this week centers on government spending for the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. President Barack Obama will release his 2012 budget on Monday.

Meanwhile, House Republicans will begin considering their 2012 budget in March, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told anchor Chris Wallace on the television show “Fox News Sunday.” In that interview, Wallace asked Ryan if his committee plans to address the nation's entitlement programs, which account for 40% of the federal budget. Those programs include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“Right now we're dealing with just discretionary for the rest of the fiscal year,” Ryan said. “And in FY 2012 we deal with all of those things. As the budget chairman, I have to get consensus with my conference—with 87 new people,” he added. “And quite frankly, I want to hear the perspective of these new members because they come from great and diverse backgrounds from around the country,” he said, adding that his committee can't begin to write a budget until March, after the Congressional Budget Office releases a baseline.


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