Biden Signs Omnibus Appropriations Package

President Biden signed the FY22 omnibus appropriations package. The bill includes a $65 million increase for Community Health Centers from FY21 allocations, totaling $1.748 billion, although because of sequestration there is a net decrease of $30 million to the Health Center Program. The HRSA Bureau of Primary Care (BPHC), despite the sequestration cut, has committed to no health center funding cuts. The bill also provides direct spending “earmarks” for ending the HIV epidemic (but not as much funding as anticipated), school-based health centers (for 330 grantees, but absent the additional funding anticipated for non-330 grantees), expanded cancer screening, and addressing intimate partner violence. Lastly, the package includes a 151-day extension of telehealth flexibilities beyond the Public Health Emergency. These telehealth flexibilities will allow health centers to provide virtual care to patients, including audio-only visits. The bill also provides $14 billion in Ukraine aid, but not COVID-19 supplemental funding. This week, the House plans to vote on a separate COVID-19 supplemental funding bill. However, the passage does not appear likely.