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Monday, October 25, 2010

Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

C. Stephen Redhead
Specialist in Health Policy

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; P.L. 111-148). The following week, on March 30, 2010, the President signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA; P.L. 111-152), which amended various health care and revenue provisions in PPACA.

Among its many provisions, PPACA (as amended by HCERA) restructures the private health insurance market, sets minimum standards for health coverage, creates a mandate for most U.S. residents to obtain health insurance, and provides for the establishment by 2014 of insurance exchanges through which certain individuals and families will be able to receive federal subsidies to reduce the cost of purchasing that coverage. The new law expands eligibility for Medicaid; amends the Medicare program in ways that are intended to reduce the growth in Medicare spending that had been projected under preexisting law; imposes an excise tax on insurance plans found to have high premiums; and makes other changes to the tax code, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other federal programs.

In some instances, PPACA mandates appropriations or requires the Secretary to transfer from the Medicare Part A and Part B trust funds billions of dollars to support new or existing grant programs and other activities. This report summarizes those mandated appropriations and fund transfers. They include funding for a temporary insurance program for individuals who have been uninsured for several months and have a preexisting condition, as well as funding for states to plan and establish exchanges. PPACA also provides funding for various Medicare and Medicaid demonstration programs, for the creation of a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to test and implement innovative payment and service delivery models, and for an independent board to provide Congress with proposals for reducing Medicare cost growth and improving quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

Among other provisions, the new health reform law appropriates funding for health workforce and maternal and child health programs, and establishes three multi-billion dollar funds. The first fund will provide a total of $11 billion over five years in supplementary funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps. (A separate appropriation provides $1.5 billion for health center construction and renovation.) The second fund will support comparative effectiveness research through FY2019 with a mixture of appropriations and fund transfers. The third fund, which is funded in perpetuity, is to support prevention, wellness, and other public health-related programs and activities authorized under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).

In addition to the mandated appropriations and fund transfers discussed in this report, PPACA authorizes new funding for numerous existing discretionary grant and other programs and activities, primarily ones authorized under the PHSA. It also creates a number of new discretionary grant programs and activities and provides for each an authorization of appropriations. Funding for all of these discretionary programs and activities is subject to action by congressional appropriators. A companion product, CRS Report R41390, Discretionary Funding in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), summarizes all the provisions in PPACA for which appropriations are authorized. 
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Date of Report: October 14, 2010
Number of Pages: 14
Order Number: R41301
Price: $29.95

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