US Rep Bass Votes to Protect Taxpayers, Defund 'Slush Fund' for Secretary of Health and Human Services

WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) voted today to eliminate a $17 billion slush fund created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that would have allowed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to spend funds on any activity under the Public Health Service Act without further Congressional oversight or approval. 

Eliminating this funding does not cut any specific programs.  Since no strings are tied to the funds, the Secretary can spend the money at her discretion on virtually any purpose described as benefitting prevention and public health, above the amount Congress appropriates.  While prevention programs can be an effective way to help address rising health care costs, there needs to be proper Congressional oversight of where valuable resources are being spent.

The legislation (H.R. 1217) passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 238 to 163.  Bass supported the legislation during a mark-up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week.

Bass said:

“This is another example of the unaccountable and reckless spending in Washington that needs to stop.  The American people resoundingly rejected the health care law and the out-of-control spending, tax increases, and burdensome mandates included in it.  Congress will continue to examine ways to defund this flawed law and seek solutions that increase health care choices and lower costs for all Americans.”