By Jay Heflin - 08/16/10 09:13 PM EDT
The reporting mandate is part of the new healthcare law and is expected to raise more than $17 billion over 10 years, which would be lost under the senator's amendment.
Johanns makes up for this loss by eliminating all funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund through 2017. The program was part of the healthcare reform bill to help prevent chronic illnesses and reduce infectious diseases, among other things.
The CBPP says stripping the program of vital funds will take away "needed investments to test and implement promising prevention and public health strategies that could improve health, reduce incidence of both chronic and infectious disease, and help slow the rate of growth in health care costs."
The senator's amendment also weakens the mandate that requires almost everyone to have health insurance by exempting a larger number of people from being penalized for not having coverage.
The change would increase healthcare costs for nearly everyone, except the ones being treated, and would likely mean higher premiums for those who have insurance.
"If Congress were now to weaken the individual mandate, the resulting increase in the number of people without insurance would leave hospitals with higher uncompensated care costs," the CBPP states. "These added costs would fall on safety net hospitals, other providers, and state and local governments."
The Senate is slated to vote on the Johanns amendments on Sept. 14, its first day back from summer recess.