Congress worked itself into a déjà vu budget stalemate with the healthcare reform law at the heart of it. Policy experts, though, said Washington's current fiscal fights won't have a significant impact on the healthcare industry this year. Still, they worry about the long-term effects of those financial policy decisions.
The latest budget battle centers on how congressional lawmakers—just back from their five-week summer recess—will agree to fund federal government operations when the federal fiscal year ends after Sept. 30. House GOP lawmakers, still wedded to the idea of dismantling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, view the spending bill showdown with the Senate and the White House as a last-ditch opportunity to defund or delay key provisions of the law before open enrollment on the public insurance exchanges begins Oct. 1, the same day the government will shut down unless policymakers craft a temporary funding measure.