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HHS Report Details Effects of Possible Government Shutdown

Medicare payments unaffected ‘in the short term’

As Congress remains deadlocked in negotiations regarding a government funding bill for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2014, the threat of a government shutdown remains a possibility. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a report detailing its plan for operations should Congress not reach a deal. The report says that “in the short term,” the Medicare program will largely continue without disruption, and that states will have funding for Medicaid on Oct. 1, due to the advanced appropriation enacted in the FFY 2013 legislation. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including exchanges set to open Oct. 1, is largely funded through mandatory spending and will continue despite a government shutdown. HHS will furlough about 52 percent of its employees, but activities related to the safety of human life and protection of property will continue.