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House panel approves legislation to cut health reform funding Posted: April 12th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

On April 5, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed five bills that remove funding for provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which it characterized as initial steps toward defunding health reform.

The bill with the broadest impact, authored by committee chair Fred Upton (R-MI), eliminates the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide unlimited grant funds to states setting up health insurance exchanges.

Health insurance exchanges are required by the PPACA and must be in place by 2014.

"In a rush to pass the health care reform package, obvious flaws were included in the final bill. Authors didn't have time to determine the cost of a program, and blank lines in a bill turned into blank checks signed by the taxpayers," said Upton in a statement. "Today, I am pleased that the committee voted to repeal this unchecked spending power."

Other bills passed by the committee would also eliminate or amend spending initiatives included in the PPACA.