Healthcare Business News

White House stresses stance against House bills

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: May 3, 2011 - 9:30 am ET

The White House said it strongly opposes three pieces of healthcare legislation the GOP-controlled House will vote on this week, and indicated that it will veto two of those bills.

In its statement of administration policy (PDF), the White House Office of Management and Budget said President Barack Obama plans to veto a bill to repeal funding in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for states to establish health insurance exchanges if he is presented with the bill. The president's statement said the bill would deny about $1.9 billion in funding to states and leave about a half a million Americans without coverage who would be insured in 2015 under the ACA.

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The White House said it opposes a bill that would cancel the mandatory funding in the Affordable Care Act for the construction of school-based health centers and rescind any unobligated balances. “Rather than making refinements to improve the law, H.R. 1214 simply proposes to eliminate funding,” the White House statement said (PDF). “It does not advance the key objectives of the Affordable Care Act or offer alternative solutions for meetings these important objectives, and the bill may make it harder to achieve better and more affordable care.”

The statement did not say the president would veto this bill, however.

The third bill would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions. According to the White House, longstanding federal policy prohibits federal abortion funding, except in the cases of rape or incest or when the mother's life is in danger. “H.R. 3 goes well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers' private healthcare choices,” the statement said. (PDF)

When asked why the White House has vowed to veto only two of the the three bills, an administration official responded in an e-mail: "While defunding state exchange development has a bigger effect than defunding school clinic construction, make no mistake: we strongly oppose both pieces of legislation.”

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