Health reform implementation

Draft spending bill would defund Obama healthcare law

House Republicans released a draft spending bill Thursday that would cut off funding for many parts of the healthcare reform law, though the bill remains deadlocked in the Appropriations Committee.

The draft legislation would attempt to derail implementation of the law. It would specifically block any money from going to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight — the office handling the bulk of the implementation effort — as well as the recently disbanded office in charge of setting up the controversial CLASS program.

{mosads}All told, the bill would rescind $6.8 billion, according to the Appropriations Committee. It would block funding for the Affordable Care Act until legal challenges over the law’s individual coverage mandate have been settled.

But the bill isn’t likely to see a markup any time soon. Although it would cut spending on a wide range of programs within the Health and Human Services Department, its total spending levels are still too high for two of the committee’s Republican members.

The draft bill adheres to the spending levels agreed to in a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), however, have objected to appropriations bills with spending levels higher than those contained in the House-passed budget resolution.

The budget allotted $139 billion for the bill that funds HHS along with labor and education programs. The draft released Thursday would cost $153 billion.

The draft also includes several policy riders, such as cutting off federal funding for NPR and the “Race to the Top” education program.

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