The House of Representatives today voted 256-167 to approve an omnibus appropriations bill funding federal discretionary programs through September. The $1.3 trillion bill, released last night after an agreement by congressional leaders and the White House, includes $88.1 billion for Department of Health and Human Services programs, a $10.1 billion increase from fiscal year 2017. HHS funding contains $3.6 billion to fight opioid abuse, including $415 million to expand prevention and treatment services and develop an appropriately trained workforce, and $1 billion in state opioid response grants. The bill also includes numerous provisions to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure, as advocated by the AHA to increase access to telehealth and other digital strategies, including $600 million for a Department of Agriculture pilot program to expand broadband access in rural areas. Among other provisions, the bill includes $315 million for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, $15 million more than in FY 2017, and $290.8 million for rural health programs, a $135 million increase. In addition, as urged by the AHA and others, the bill clarifies that the Dickey Amendment does not prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from awarding grants to study gun violence. The Senate is expected to quickly take up the measure. The current continuing resolution funding the government expires tomorrow at midnight.

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