The House Appropriations Committee yesterday voted 30-23 to approve with changes legislation that would provide $189.9 billion in base discretionary funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and related agencies in fiscal year 2020. According to a committee summary, the amended bill would still provide $99 billion for HHS, $8.5 billion more than this year and $20.9 billion more than the president’s budget request. Specific increases include $2 billion more for the National Institutes of Health; $475 million more for the Health Resources and Services Administration; $315 million more for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; $115 million more for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and $35 million more for Hospital Preparedness Program grants. The bill also includes $50 million for research to prevent firearm injury and death.
 
Among specific changes, the committee said the amended bill would maintain support for nonemergency medical transportation services for Medicaid beneficiaries who lack access to health care facilities; increase funding for the Strategic National Stockpile by $300 million using unobligated balances from the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and prohibit funds from being used to “replace or diminish the quality of care provided by TRICARE or Medicare,” or to implement or enforce the administration’s new rule protecting certain statutory conscience rights in health care.

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