Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


Government Shutdown Avoided?

In order to avoid a government shutdown when the current CR expires March 4th, House and Senate leaders will have to achieve agreement this week on another short-term continuing resolution to give them time to craft a spending bill for the remainder of the FY 2011 period ending September 30th.  House Republicans opened their hand by demanding a spending cut of $4 billion over a two-week period (a percentage of the $61 billion spending cut in H.R. 1, passed by the House before the recess). 

After some bluster, Senate Democrats are apparently crafting a measure which will also cut spending by an amount which reflects an acceleration into this year of a number of the spending cuts proposed in the President’s budget for FY 2012.  The Senate would prefer a 30-day CR, but this may be a tough sell in the House. 

The negotiations to follow over discretionary spending levels for the remainder of this fiscal year will be intense with the House likely to insist on reductions on the level of the $61 billion already staked out in the House CR. 

Of particular note will be the outcome of the PPACA “defunding” amendments included under H.R. 1.  Senate Democrats initially said their position would follow the President’s “freeze” in his 2012 budget.  However, recent discussions in the Senate Democratic Caucus have apparently moved the debate somewhat by seeking additional cuts for this fiscal year.  While intense, the negotiations over FY 2011 spending levels will pale in comparison to the budget battle coming later this spring over FY 2012 discretionary and entitlement spending and deficit levels.    

February 28, 2011: | Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4



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