Charles S. Redhead
Coordinator Specialist in Health Policy
Congress has yet to complete legislative action on any of the 12 regular
appropriations bills to fund the routine operations of federal agencies
for FY2014, which begins on October 1, 2013.1 One or more continuing appropriations bills, or continuing resolutions
be enacted to provide funding for part or all of the new fiscal year. Some
lawmakers opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA),3 the health reform law
enacted in March 2010, have advocated the use of the appropriations
process to eliminate funding for the law’s implementation.
On September 20, 2013, the House approved an FY2014 CR (H.J.Res. 59) to provide
temporary funding for the federal government until December 15, 2013.
H.J.Res. 59, as passed by the House, incorporates three provisions aimed
at defunding the ACA , including language that would prohibit the use of
any federal funds to carry out the law. The Senate amendment to H.J.Res.
59 does not incorporate the House ACA language. The chambers have yet to
resolve their differences on H.J.Res. 59.4 If continuing appropriations are not enacted by October 1, 2013, the
federal government would begin a shutdown of programs that lack budget
authority5 to continue operations in FY2014, except in certain circumstances.6
The current legislative debate over using the FY2014 appropriations process to
defund implementation of the ACA has prompted a number of questions about
the law’s core health reform provisions and how their implementation
affects federal spending. Questions have also been raised about the
legislative actions already taken by lawmakers to defund or
otherwise amend the ACA, and about the various legal and procedural considerations
arising from the current efforts to use the appropriations process to
defund the law. Finally, there is the question of what impact a government
shutdown would have on ACA implementation in the event that Congress is
unable to reach agreement on FY2014 appropriations legislation. This report,
will be revised and updated to reflect key legislative developments, provides
brief answers to these questions.
Date of Report: September 27, 2013
Number of Pages: 23 Order Number: R43246
For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card
number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail
or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.