Federal spending agreement makes health insurance cuts imminent
Congressional leaders have reached an agreement to avoid the government shutdown, but they did not include the main priority of healthcare providers: preventing major medical insurance reimbursement cuts that are scheduled to take effect next month.
Health care providers will lose approximately $36 billion to reimburse According to the Non-Party Congressional Budget Office, this stems from the 4% cut that will take effect in January.
The continuing resolution that legislators will consider also does not address the 2% medical insurance cut under the 2011 Budget Seizure Act of Congress. put off Last year as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital hopes that Congress will continue to suspend it for at least next year.Legislator exist Thursday No detail specific Next pace but Indicated this problem will Yes Resolve before Congress concludes this year’s affairs.
“There Yes Work exist complete, A generation understand, exist A sort of Comprehensive, Two parties solution go through this end of this year for all of this medical provider problem,” House Appropriation Committee Chair Rosa Deloro (D-Conn.) Said period A sort of hearing Thursday.
Congress has other options to listen to warnings from suppliers and stop or postpone cuts. For example, the issue may be addressed in legislation to increase the debt ceiling, or included in other bills that need to be passed before the end of the year. But time is running out, and legislators still have many other issues to solve.
“this [continuing resolution] Not the last train out of town. We will continue to pursue this,” said Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The leadership of both hospitals clearly recognizes that this may create a desperate situation that needs to be resolved. “
The imminent interest rate cut stems from laws passed in 2010 and 2011 aimed at reducing budget deficits.
The budget law called PAYGO requires that the increase in the deficit be offset by increasing revenue or reducing expenditure. Since the COVID-19 relief plan passed this year has widened the deficit, if Congress does not take action before mid-January, it will result in a 4% cut in health insurance and other items.
Congress has never made pay-as-you-go cuts effective for health insurance payments, but vendors have been urging lawmakers to deal with this issue as soon as possible.
The 2011 Budget Control Act resulted in automatic and comprehensive spending cuts on multiple projects since 2013, including a 2% reduction in medical insurance payments that have been shelved since last year.
The American Medical Association issued a bad voice on Thursday, noting that the provider group has been urging lawmakers to deal with this issue throughout the year.
AMA Chairman Gerald Harmon said in a press release: “The end of the year is coming soon. It is clear that Congress has not prioritized support for national healthcare that has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. provider.”
The House of Representatives passed a bill earlier summer Abandoning the pay-as-you-go system, but it stagnated in the Senate, Republicans said they did not want to help Democrats to abandon cuts related to the COVID-19 relief plan they did not support.
Nevertheless, given the negative impact of PAYGO’s cuts on suppliers, it seems unlikely that Congress will make it effective, especially before the election year. Legislators have not yet decided whether to extend the 3.75% temporary cost increase for doctors under medical insurance established by Congress last year, which will expire on January 1.
The medical community has been pressing Congress to extend it to at least 2022. The effort to extend the increase led by Rep. Ami Bera (California) and Larry Bucshon (Republican of Indiana) received bipartisan support.
“I hope this will happen,” said Claire Ernst, director of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association. “It has the support of many provider communities, and we have the support of members of Congress, especially the support of the core group of doctors.”