A House Republican says Congress should eliminate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provisions that pre-fund some PPACA implementation efforts.
Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the health subcommittee at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, talked about PPACA implementation appropriations today at a health subcommittee hearing on health care funding fiscal priorities.
PPACA is a major component of the federal Affordable Care Act package.
PPACA Section 4002 of PPACA has established a Prevention and Public Health Fund “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs,” Pitts said today at the hearing, according to a written version of his opening statement posted on the committee website.
Annual PPACA appropriations included in PPACA Section 4002 start at $500 million in fiscal year 2010, which started Oct. 1, 2009, and are on track to increase to $2 billion in fiscal year 2015, which will start Oct. 1, 2014, Pitts said.
U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “has the full authority to use this account to fund any programs or activities under the Public Health Service Act that she chooses, without congressional oversight,” Pitts said.
In February, for example, Sebelius used $750 million from the fund for efforts to prevent conditions such as stroke and heart disease, and to promote immunizations and efforts to prevent tobacco use, Pitts said.
“The goals of these three disbursements from the fund are laudable, and there is no doubt that we must focus on preventing disease,” Pitts said. “But, we must remember that this funding is