The House late yesterday approved legislation, H.R. 2685, that included an AHA-backed amendment that would withhold funding for a controversial Labor Department policy aimed at treating hospitals participating in Tricare and certain other health care programs as federal contractors or subcontractors. The fiscal year 2016 Department of Defense appropriations bill – cleared by the House on a 278 to 149 vote – bars funding of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ enforcement activities for Tricare subcontractors. The House June 9 approved the OFCCP measure – offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) – during consideration of the $579 billion funding bill. OFCCP is responsible for ensuring federal contractors and subcontractors follow federal nondiscrimination hiring requirements. In recent years, it has sought to expand its jurisdiction over hospitals that participate in health plans offered under Tricare, the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and Medicare Parts C or D. The agency claims that treating patients under these programs creates a federal subcontractor relationship. Citing “confusion” regarding who is covered and what obligations the Tricare subcontractor community has under the laws enforced by OFCCP, the agency on May 7, 2014 issued a directive announcing a five-year moratorium on its enforcement activities. During the moratorium period, OFCCP indicates that it will engage in extensive outreach and provide technical assistance to inform TRICARE participants of their responsibilities under OFCCP’s programs. The AHA contends that the agency is engaged in an “aggressive jurisdictional land grab.”