The current continuing resolution (CR) expires at midnight tonight.  Last night, the House passed a 4-week CR through February 16. It includes a 6-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and delays several Affordable Care Act (ACA)-related taxes, however, it does NOT include extensions for the other expired health programs (e.g., community health centers).

Now it is up to the Senate. However, the Senate does not appear to have the 60 votes needed to pass it. Most Democrats oppose the bill unless key issues are addressed (including DACA, community health centers, and a deal to raise both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs spending caps) and a few Republican Senators have also indicated possible no votes. Senate Minority Leader Schumer has suggested another possible short term CR while these issues are worked out but no votes have yet been scheduled.

This morning, HHS released its FY 2018 contingency plan in the event of a shutdown, showing that 50% of the Department’s staff would be furloughed.

Examples of priority disability-related programs would continue under a shutdown are:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – CMS would continue key Federal Exchange activities, such as open enrollment eligibility verification, using Federal Exchange user fee carryover. In the short term, the Medicare Program will continue largely without disruption during a lapse in appropriations.  Additionally, other non-discretionary activities including Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control, and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation  activities would continue.  States will have sufficient funding for Medicaid through the second quarter, due to the continuation of authority under the CR for appropriated entitlements, and CMS will maintain the staff necessary to make payments to eligible states from remaining Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) carryover balances.

Examples of priority disability-related programs that would NOT continue are:

  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) – ACL would not be able to fund the Senior Nutrition programs, Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services, Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program,  Protection and Advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities, or Independent Living Centers and services.
  • ACF – ACF would not continue quarterly formula grants for Social Services Block Grant, Child Welfare Services and the Community Service Block Grant programs.  Additionally new competitive grants, including Head Start and other social services programs, would not be made.

Each federal agency must prepare contingency plans and others should be available shortly.

Social Security payments would continue under a shutdown though other administrative functions would likely be adversely affected.

Courtesy: Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities