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Committee Uses Reconciliation to Limit Abortion

On September 29, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved, 28-23, recommendations that would impose a one-year moratorium on federal payments to “prohibited entities” if such entities are tax-exempt, community providers of family planning and reproductive health services and related medical care, provide abortions, and have total federal and state expenditures under Medicaid greater than $350 million. The measure also would increase funding for community health centers by $235 million.

The measure also would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The fund, established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), “provides expanded and sustained investments in prevention and public health.”

The committee recommended the provisions as part of budget reconciliation. Reconciliation is a process by which Congress attempts to bring current laws and expenditures into compliance with the budget resolution. Congress passed its FY2016 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 11) – a blueprint for federal spending in the upcoming fiscal year – on May 5 (see The Source, 5/8/15).

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