On Feb. 9, 2018, President Trump signed a bipartisan deal to reopen the government after a brief five-hour shutdown. While the legislative agreement sets out broad budget numbers for the next two fiscal years, it technically only funds the government through March 23, 2018. Between now and then, congressional appropriators will use the agreement as a blueprint to write a detailed bill outlining government funding through the end of the fiscal year.
The agreement includes an additional four-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), on top of the six-year extension that Congress approved last month. It also provides seven billion over two years for community health centers, which also saw their federal funding lapse last October when CHIP’s long-term funding expired. Six billion for new grants and prevention programs to combat the opioid crisis and improve mental health care was provided in the bill as well, the largest recent infusion of federal dollars to address the crisis.
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD was pleased to see funding for CHIP extended to ten years and funding for community health centers extended for another two years.