Government shutdown closes Indian Health Service but CDC is still watching flu

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By Kaiser Health News

There seems to be no end in sight for the current partial government shutdown, the third since the beginning of the Trump administration.

For the vast majority of the federal government’s public health efforts, though, it’s business as usual.

That’s because Congress has already passed five of its major appropriations bills, funding about three-fourths of the federal government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But seven bills are outstanding — including those that fund the Interior, Agriculture and Justice departments — and that puts the squeeze on some important health-related initiatives.

Funding for “big-ticket” health programs is already in place, alleviating much of the shutdown’s immediate potential impact. Since HHS funding is set through September, the flagship government health care programs — think Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid — are insulated.