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October Update

The Special Committee on Deficit Reduction or “Super Committee” continues to meet behind closed doors with no information leaking out.  During the last week of October, Democrats on the Committee proposed a nearly $3 trillion combination of spending cuts and revenue raisers, including $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.  Details beyond those numbers were not released.

Democrats on the debt panel on Tuesday offered a proposal that would reduce the deficit by almost three trillion dollars over ten years through a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, including $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.  NACDD weighed in with Super Committee members’ staff from California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington State on how CDC chronic disease programmatic funding impacted cities and towns within their states and our concern that additional cuts to chronic disease programs and any proposal to reduce or eliminate the Prevention Fund will severely handicap state programs.  The Committee must report out its recommendations in mid-November.  While statements from the Committee suggest they are working hard to come up with a compromise many are cynical given fundamental disagreements between parties on the inclusion on tax increases, changes to Medicare and Medicaid that would impact beneficiaries, etc.

The new fiscal year began on October 1st and the federal government continues to operate on a continuing resolution (CR) through November 18th.   The Senate is currently working on a series of “mini-buses” which bundles together a handful of the appropriations bills that Congress must pass.  The first minibus the Senate will take up this week and will likely include State-Foreign Operations and Financial Services (which includes the IRS) measures — two bills the full House has not considered — attached to the House-passed Energy-Water bill.  The move is aimed at giving the Senate a strong position in negotiations with the House.  The measure is a $128 billion bill, which combines 2012 funding for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Congress will have to pass another until they figure out how to deal with the remaining bills, which will include the Department of Defense and the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bills.

In mid-October the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services filed its version of the bill.  It has not been voted out of Subcommittee just A wrinkle in the process will be how to deal with the policy riders that are attached to numerous appropriations bills, including eliminating funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  On November 1st, House 182 House Democrats signed a letter opposing the inclusion of significant policy riders on the appropriations bills.

Given the significant amount of information that may come available in the coming weeks from Washington please stay tuned to your email for updates.

David P. Hoffman M.Ed. C.C.E.
Director, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Restructuring and Partnership
Office of Long Term Care
State of New York, Department of Health

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