Senate Appropriations boosts HHS funding on party-line vote as GOP attacks health reform provisions

Partisan wrangling over the health law, as well as funding of HHS, is continuing on Capitol Hill.

The Hill: Senate Democrats Beat Back Attempts To Defund Health Care Law
Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday beat back attempts by Republicans to use the 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services bill to defund President Obama's healthcare reform. The bill was reported out to the Senate on a party-line 16-14 vote, a break from the normally bipartisan nature of the spending panel. The skirmishes came days before the Supreme Court is set to rule on whether Obama's signature law is unconstitutional due to its requirement that all adults obtain health insurance (Wasson, 6/14).

CQ HealthBeat: Senate Appropriations Panel Boosts CMS Funding By Half A Billion Dollars
The Prevention Fund established by the health care law would receive $1 billion. ... The bill also provides $3.067 billion for community health centers, an increase of $300 million. And it includes $265 million for children's hospital graduate medical education, ignoring a White House request that that program only get $88 million (Reichard, 6/14).

Politico Pro: Senate Committee Approves Labor-HHS Bill
The approval ... came after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) won an unusual victory with a proposal to spread scarce research dollars to states that are unaccustomed to getting them. She and other senators voiced frustration at the disproportionate share of NIH funds directed to California, New York and Massachusetts institutions. The committee voted 18-12 to approve her amendment, which would send $50 million of the NIH's proposed $30 billion budget to institutions in states that aren't typically on the receiving end (Cheney, 6/15).

The Hill: GOP Senators Want Answers On Health Law's 'PR Campaign'
Senate Republicans are demanding to know why President Obama's acting budget director permitted health officials to sign a $20 million public relations contract to promote the healthcare law. The contract has received widespread criticism from Republicans in Congress since news of the effort broke on May 21. The campaign was mandated by the Affordable Care Act to promote, in part, the law's preventive benefits (Viebeck, 6/14).

Meanwhile --

CQ HealthBeat: Generic Alliance Pushes For More Drug Information
A coalition led by the generic drug industry is pressuring lawmakers to include a Senate provision in the final user fee bill that would stop brand-name drugmakers from hiding information generic companies say they need to make copycat versions. Generic manufacturers say that brand-name companies are misusing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program designed to monitor the safety of drugs before and after they are approved (Adams, 6/14).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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