CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1217, an Act to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The rule provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Additionally, the rule makes in order amendments printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying H.Res. 219 and provides for one motion to recommit with or without instructions. The amendments printed in the report are summarized below. H.R. 1217 was introduced by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) on March 29, 2011, and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 1217 would repeal section 4002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a provision establishing the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides grant assistance to entities to carry out prevention, wellness, and public health programs. The bill would also rescind any unobligated balances appropriated to the Fund.
According to Energy and Commerce committee staff, under this ObamaCare provision the Health and Human Services secretary is authorized to administer and spend funds without any further Congressional approval. Therefore this “slush” fund abrogates Congress’ power of the purse.
According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimates, the bill would decrease direct spending by more than $6 billion over the 2012-2016 period and by $16 billion over the 2012-2021 period.
Amendment No. 3—Rep. Jackson-Lee (D-TX): The amendment would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to post on the Department’s website a public notice of the rescission of unobligated balances under Section 4002 of the PPACA and the amount rescinded.
Amendment No. 11—Rep. Castor (D-FL): The amendment would direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the impact funds awarded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have on preventing chronic diseases and public health.
Amendment No. 13—Rep. Castor (D-FL): The amendment would direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the economic impact funds awarded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have on states and communities.