The Senate Appropriations Committee today voted 16-14 to approve 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 the committee, 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 bill is likely to go to the Senate floor next month.