Senate deal would likely boost spending on health programs, opioids fight

Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) along with Ed Markey (D-MA) attend a press conference at the U.S Capitol on February 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. The senators are calling on senate Republicans to support the passage of emergency funding to tackle the prescription opioid along with heroin crisis.

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Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) along with Ed Markey (D-MA) attend a press conference at the U.S Capitol on February 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. The senators are calling on senate Republicans to support the passage of emergency funding to tackle the prescription opioid along with heroin crisis.

A bipartisan Senate agreement reached Wednesday on the federal budget would likely boost funding for a range of health programs, including efforts to combat the national opioid epidemic.

The deal, which would likely have to win approval coming from the House along with President Donald Trump, would likely extend for a total of at least 10 years funding for the well-liked Children’s Health Insurance Program.

CHIP, which provides health coverage to 9 million kids, recently had its funding extended for six years as part of an agreement to temporarily keep the government open last month.

Congress last fall failed to reauthorize CHIP. in which had put several states, which jointly run the program with the federal government, on track to run out of money earmarked for children’s health care within months.

The budget deal also would likely devote $6 billion to efforts to fight opioid abuse along with would likely fund community health centers — which provide services for 26.5 million Americans — for at least the next two years.

The deal also calls for another $4 billion for veterans’ hospitals along with $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with the minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

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