Congress Buys More Time
Last Friday President Biden signed a short-term funding patch. This extends government funding through a continuing resolution (CR) into March. Specifically, this CR gives Congress until March 1 for the first four annual bills, amounting to about 20% of discretionary spending, and until March 8 for the rest. The healthcare extenders are attached to the second deadline of March 8.
In effect we are in the same place we were in September 2023. But eventually (i.e., by March 2024) Congress needs to break its logjam and reach a deal on government funding. March is the sixth month of fiscal year 2024. If a deal cannot be reached by then, a year-long CR is potentially in play. However, a year-long CR would come with significant budgetary cuts, in particular to defense, so there are consequences for continually kicking the can down the road.
This week the House is in recess, but the Senate is in session. It appears that the Senate will spend its time focusing on a potential southern border deal. There is no formal deal yet between Senate Republicans and Democrats, but negotiations continue.
On the committee front, so far there is only one healthcare-related hearing: the Senate Aging Committee will meet on Thursday to review assisted living facilities and long-term care options for older adults. Additionally, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will hold its January meeting.
Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock join Priya Rathakrishnan to discuss the implications of the recent continuing resolution that funds the federal government until early March, and what it all means for healthcare.