GOP Budget Focuses On Cutting Health Law Funds Rather Than Trimming Medicare, Medicaid

House Republican lawmakers propose big spending cuts to health care, labor and foreign aid programs. Meanwhile, progress on Food and Drug Administration user fee legislation could stall over "key differences" on proposed amendments.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: GOP Pulls Its Budget Punches As Follow Up Legislation Advances On Capitol Hill
Instead of big reductions in Medicaid and Medicare, top GOP lawmakers are sticking mostly with familiar proposals like cutting money for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and federal employee pensions while reaching out to Democrats to help pass annual spending bills (4/24).

Politico Pro: Appropriators Seek 4% Health Spending Cut
House appropriators have set a $150 billion ceiling for fiscal 2013 spending on health and labor programs even though few anticipate a package to clear the committee and reach the floor anytime soon. The 2013 numbers released Tuesday are about $6 billion (about 4 percent) less than what's currently allocated to HHS and the Department of Labor, and are part of a much broader focus by House Republicans to slow discretionary spending (Dobias, 4/24).

The Hill: House Appropriators Plan Big Cuts To Labor, Healthcare, Foreign Aid
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday announced its plans to hit jobs, healthcare and foreign aid programs the hardest as it seeks to meet the requirements of the House-passed budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)... Compared to the Senate spending plan, the House will increase baseline military spending by $8 billion in 2013 to $519 billion. The House will then cut the Labor, Health and Human Services budget by $7 billion to $150 billion, and the State Department budget by $9 billion to $40 billion, compared to the Senate plan (Wasson, 4/24).

Politico: FDA Bill Up In The Air Over Proposed Changes
The only health legislation that has any chance of passing before the elections this fall will be marked up by both chambers later this week, but key differences over proposed amendments to the FDA user fee bill in the House and Senate could lead to a protracted fight (Norman, 4/25).

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