We have 20 scheduled joint legislative days left until the current continuing resolution funding the government ends on November 21, 2019, followed by an additional eight scheduled joint legislative days until the end of the year. These are significant dates for several important healthcare programs that either run out of funding or face dramatic cuts to existing funding on November 21 or December 31, 2019. One key to understanding how Congress will tackle these challenges is the costs associated with any extension or delay of cuts.
Due to the varying scope of these issues, a number of congressional committees are working on legislation to extend these programs. As a result, it is a complicated dance to get these programs extended and also funded. Although political divisions in Washington, DC, are at an all-time high, we still expect that many of the expiring programs will be extended by year-end. In fact, some of the expiring provisions were extended in the last continuing resolution (CR) through November 21, 2019. Currently Congress is working to address the expiring provisions prior to November 21, 2019, to avoid a lapse in funding. The questions remain how long each program will be extended and how they will be paid for. The below chart provides a summary of each of the major healthcare extender provisions, current financial status, expiration date and proposals for extension.
Background: Healthcare extenders typically refer to the various temporary policies that require continual reauthorization or annual appropriations. These include community health center funding, teaching health center funding and special diabetes programs. Additionally, healthcare extenders include several Affordable Care Act (ACA) policies whose implementation has been delayed, such as the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotment reduction, the ACA health insurance tax and the medical device tax.
Click here for the chart summary.