House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Monday trumpeted funding cuts to some of the GOP’s most despised ObamaCare programs in the newly unveiled $1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
“The bill halts any new funding for ObamaCare — and goes even further by slicing into existing ObamaCare funding — to prevent the unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars on this flawed law,” Rogers said in a statement.
The bill reduces the Prevention and Public Health (PPH) fund by $1 billion.
The PPH fund was originally a $15 billion program aimed at supporting prevention and public health activities, but has suffered a handful of cuts since its inception and has been a primary target for House Republicans attempting to dismantle portions of the law.
Because the entirety of the money in the PPH fund isn’t earmarked for specific activities, Republicans have called it a “slush fund” that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department could access without restraint.
Rogers on Monday said the $1 billion reduction would “prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services from raiding these funds for ObamaCare exchanges.”
HHS did not return a request for comment, but Democrats have argued that killing the program would reduce access to preventive healthcare, lead to higher healthcare costs later on and even destroy jobs in the healthcare industry.
Rogers also took aim at the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), ObamaCare’s Medicare cost-cutting board memorably referred to by Sarah Palin as a “death panel.” The board will see its funding reduced by $10 million.
In addition, Rogers heralded “continuing restrictions on using federal grant money to lobby, which will stop HHS from directing taxpayer money to lobbying efforts for ObamaCare.”
Republicans have accused some government agencies of misappropriating funds in an attempt to prop up or get the word out about the healthcare law.
The omnibus spending bill will continue to fund the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency primarily tasked with implementing ObamaCare, at sequester levels.
House leaders are planning a Wednesday vote on the bill, and the Senate is expected to bring it to the floor by the weekend.