Government shutdown draws to a close

Category: government shutdown, HHS, CDC, Medicare, Medicaid, federal government

Government shutdown draws to a close


After a federal government shutdown of more than two days, the Senate has passed a continuing resolution that will fund the government through Feb. 8.

The resolution provides for Children’s Health Insurance Program funding for the next six years, and includes several other provisions of note for the health care industry.

First, the implementation of both the medical device tax and the health insurance industry fee are delayed for two years and one year, respectively. Further, the “Cadillac Tax,” which would impose a 40 percent rate of taxation on high-cost health plans, will also be placed on hold for two years.

It is expected that the continuing resolution will easily pass in the House this evening, be signed by President Trump sometime tonight, and that furloughed federal employees will return to work soon thereafter.

However, it is possible that another government shutdown may occur on Feb 8.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the senate minority leader, said that, in exchange for allowing the government shutdown to end, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to permit negotiations on a “global agreement” related to immigration issues. Sen. McConnell promised that, if a resolution of these immigration issues, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is not reached by Feb. 8, then a “free and open debate” on the DACA program will occur at that time.

If that agreement fails to materialize, another government shutdown could be in the making.

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