A two-year spending agreement includes funding for anti-opioid epidemic programs, medical research, community health centers, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The budget deal was reached Wednesday by Senate leadership. It would provide $54 billion in funding for the military above mandatory federal spending caps and $37 billion for domestic programs.
The deal includes $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic, according to a source familiar with the deal, a boost from the extra $1.4 billion that Congress devoted to it in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
It's not clear if lawmakers will seek more funding for an epidemic that kills 91 Americans a day. New Hampshire Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have called for $25 billion a year, for example.
How the money would be spent is not clear. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, recently told the Washington Examiner that he wanted any funding above the $1.4 billion to go toward treatment options.
The deal includes other major healthcare funding boosts, including an additional $2 billion for research at the National Institutes of Health, the source said.
The money is above a funding boost that was included in the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law in December 2016. That bill gave the NIH an additional $4.8 billion in funding over 10 years.
It also would lengthen the reauthorization of CHIP from six to 10 years. A short-term spending deal passed last month reauthorized CHIP for six years.
The deal devotes $7 billion in funding for two years for community health centers, which are nonprofit clinics that offer care to underserved areas. Funding for the centers expired Sept. 30.
It also includes a host of extensions for certain healthcare programs. Those include five years of funding for a home visiting program that gives pregnant women and families help on how to raise children.
It also includes a two-year delay of cuts in payments to disproportionate-share hospitals. The payments reimburse the hospitals for charity care, but Obamacare made cuts to the payments.
The spending deal needs to get enough support from the House to pass, which may be in doubt as it does not include an immigration deal to protect “Dreamers” from deportation.