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What the omnibus bill means for long-term care

January 14, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Update: The appropriations bill was passed 359 to 67 in the House on Jan. 15 and 72 to 26 by the Senate on Jan. 16, and it was signed into law by the president on Jan. 17. The package funds the federal government until September.

Alzheimer’s disease research and care, some programs for the elderly, and efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) would see funding increases under the omnibus spending package proposed by Congress for 2014. The Senate and House are expected to vote on the measure this week.

The bill includes more than $1 trillion in funding for health-related and other government programs, including:

  • $29.9 billion for the NIH, a $1 billion bump over its sequester-based budget, but less than the agency’s peak funding level of $31.23 billion in 2010 and less than advocates and President Obama had sought for the research agency for programs related to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other areas, according to The Hill.
  • $6.9 billion for the CDC, $567 million above the fiscal 2013 level.
  • $3.7 billion for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) management and operations, an amount equal to the level put in place by the sequester and $195 million below the amount enacted for the agency in 2013. The bill also allots $305 million to CMS “to allow for the timely processing and payment of benefits and the continuation of essential services.”
  • $2.55 billion for the FDA, an amount that is $96 million more than the 2013-enacted level.
  • $1.6 billion for the Administration for Community Living, $54 million more than the 2013 funding level, to be used for programs for the elderly and disabled. The amount includes a $41 million increase for nutrition programs for the elderly, including home-delivered meals.
  • $122 million for Alzheimer’s disease research and care, an amount the Alzheimer’s Association says is the largest-ever increase in funding for programs related to the disease.

The package also includes $3.6 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration—an increase of $144 million over the fiscal 2013 level—and no change in funding for the Affordable Care Act.

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