by Kaitlin McColgan
This week, the House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2010 (FY2010)- a stop-gap measure to keep the government running when the current fiscal year ends next Wednesday. This was necessary because as of this writing (and as has been the case in many previous years), the President has not yet signed any of the FY2010 appropriations bills into law, though FY2010 begins next Thurday. The House has passed all twelve FY2010 appropriations bills, but the Senate has only passed six and none have made it to the President. The continuing resolution or “CR” will keep most programs, including the Health Centers program, running at the same level as FY2009 through the end of October.
The CR also contains a temproary extension of the Ryan White Act. As many readers are aware, and has previously been written about on this blog, the last Ryan White reauthorization actually contained a repeal of the Ryan White program, which is scheduled to occur September 30. While the committees of jurisdiction are currently considering a full reauthorization of the program, a temporary extension was necessary in order to ensure all operations of Ryan White programs continue uninterrupted. The language in the CR has been put together by the committees of jurisdiction in conjunction with HRSA and other executive branch agencies and should ensure no Ryan White funded services are impacted. The temporary extension will last the duration of the CR- through the end of October.
The Senate is expected to take up the CR early next week in time for President Obama to sign it into law before Wednesday.
As for the final action on the FY2010 Labor-HHS bill, which funds the Health Centers program, there have been few developments since the Senate Appropriations Commitee voted at the end of July on the bill. That bill, like the House Labor-HHS bill, proposed to level fund health centers in FY2010, citing the stimulus funding provided to health centers earlier this year as the rationale.
NACHC will be closely watching the Senate for any final opportunities to seek additional funding for health centers in FY2010.