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House Passes Budget Deal

October 2015

This week, House and Senate leaders and the Administration worked out a new budget deal to raise the debt ceiling and provide relief from sequestration budget caps which have affected federal agencies for the past three years. The deal provides overall budgets for two years, fiscal year (FY) 2016 and 2017, and extends the debt ceiling until March 2017, averting a US debt default that was set to occur around November 3. The deal would increase discretionary spending by $50 billion in FY2016 and by $30 billion in FY2017 and apply it equally between defense and non-defense spending.

Under the package, it is estimated that non-defense discretionary program spending in FY2016 will be 6.3 percent higher than fiscal year 2015, which should provide room for some spending growth for health programs such as the NIH. The deal will also prevent premium increases that were scheduled to go into effect for several million Medicare Part B beneficiaries.  The bill also included a provision that would prevent physician practices, which have been recently purchased by hospitals from charging outpatient hospital rates for services provided. 

The House passed the budget deal on October 28 by a vote of 266 to 167, and the Senate passed it early in the hours of October 30 by a vote of 64 – 35.  The President is expected to sign the bill shortly.

Last Reviewed: October 2017