The giant Senate budget deal includes some huge changes for Americans' health care

  • The Senate has introduced a bill aimed to fix the US government's cycle of short-term funding bills that put the country in jeopardy of a shutdown. 
  • The bill includes funding for the National Institutes of Health, the opioid crisis, among other health initiatives, totaling almost $20 billion.
  • The plan still needs to pass the Senate and the House, which has already expressed some hesitations. 

 Senate leaders unveiled a bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday that would introduce significant funding and changes for health care initiatives and agencies.

"After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday.

The Senate and House are set to vote on the deal Thursday. Many House members have already expressed concerns about the plan, which could threaten its passage.

More on lawmakers' concerns over the bipartisan deal

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Nancy Pelosi delivers longest speech ever on the House floor
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Nancy Pelosi delivers longest speech ever on the House floor
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is shown reading from a bible during a marathon speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in this still grab taken from video on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2018. U.S. House TV/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is seen on a television screen as House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Vice Chair Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) attend a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is shown as she's handed a bible during her marathon speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in this still grab taken from video on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2018. U.S. House TV/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is shown speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives in this still grab taken from video on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2018. U.S. House TV/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) comes out from the House chamber after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) on her way returns to her office after a 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: A TV shows U.S. Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) giving a lengthy immigration speech on the House floor during the opening press conference for the 2018 House Democratic Issues Conference February 7, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with reporters as she leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight plus hours on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight plus hours on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) comes out from the House chamber after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight plus hours on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) comes out from the House chamber after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) speaks to members of the media after her 8-hour long speech on immigration at the Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pelosi exercised her power as minority leader and launched a filibuster-like floor speech on Dreamers and urged Republicans to take action to solve their status before the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Some of its health care-related initiatives include:

  • An additional $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health.
  • $6 billion over the next two years to combat the opioid crisis, a big increase from the funding set aside by naming the crisis a "public health emergency."
  • $4 billion for VA hospital and clinic improvements. 
  • A two-year reauthorization of community health centers, with $7 billion in total funding. That would help reinstate the funding the centers — which serve more than 25 million Americans — lost when a key fund expired in September 2017. 
  • $495 million for National Health Service Corps, an organization within the Department of Health and Human Service that helps medical professionals pay for their medical education. 
  • $363 million for Teaching Health Centers

The bill also includes a few changes to the health care system. 

  • It would close the donut hole in Medicare, an aspect of Medicare's prescription drug coverage that left seniors on the hook for a certain amount of prescription drug costs before hitting a yearly limit. 
  • It would extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for 10 years. The latest stopgap bill only extended the program for 6 years.
  • It would repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare. While the board was set up in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, it has not been used. The idea was to help slow down Medicare spending.

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