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House Passes “Doc Fix” Legislation

On March 26, the House passed, 392-37, the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) (H.R. 2). The measure, sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), would repeal the sustainable growth rate that requires cuts in reimbursements to doctors who participate in Medicare.

The bill would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years, allocating $19.3 billion in FY2016 and $20.4 billion in FY2017. The measure would reauthorize funding for community health centers for FY2016 and FY2017. The current CHIP authorization and funding for the community health centers expires at the end of fiscal year.

Funding for the community health centers program would be subject to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. The restriction would expire at the same time the community health centers funding expires in 2017.

The legislation also would extend through FY2017 the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program, which funds comprehensive sex education, and the federal abstinence education program.

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