HHS Funding Bill, PEPFAR, and the ACA

The White House, House, and Senate have reached a compromise on the fiscal 2024 spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Funding for HHS is basically flat, which is a win for Democrats since Republicans had fought for a cut of about 22%. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Friday at 11 a.m., leaving the Senate little time to avert a possible partial shutdown. Democrats seem to have avoided adding new restrictions on reproductive and gender-affirming health care to the HHS portion of the bill. As for the protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people are liking it now than ever before. This has mostly been due to the sweeping messaging from the Biden administration and the HHS that has been tirelessly highlighting all of the benefits of the ACA. This is probably due to the fact that the Republicans are still very much pushing the message of their intentions to repeal the ACA and replace it with something better, a message that is likely to gain some traction in the upcoming presidential election. Finally, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in a case that could dramatically restrict access to the abortion pill mifepristone. The court will not be considering an outright ban but rather national restrictions that could be very impactful.

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