A Senate appropriations subcommittee today approved legislation that would provide $153.2 billion in discretionary funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies in fiscal year 2016, $3.6 billion less than this year. According to a committee summary, the legislation eliminates discretionary funding for the Affordable Care Act and Independent Payment Advisory Board, and would prevent using discretionary funds to support state-based health insurance exchange operations and the ACA Risk Corridor program. The bill would provide $70.4 billion for HHS programs, $646 million less than in FY 2015. Among other provisions, the HHS funding includes $664 million to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, an increase of $193 million from FY 2015; $270 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, a $5 million increase; $150.6 million for rural health programs, a $3.1 million increase; $97.4 million for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals, a $10 million increase; and $67 million to fight opioid abuse, a $35 million increase, the committee said. The full committee is expected to mark up the legislation Thursday.