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On the Hill: Budget, SGR Repealed, Health Committee Hearings

This week Congress will continue work on a bicameral budget resolution. The House and Senate failed to meet the April 15 budget deadline, but hope to wrap up the agreement within the next two weeks. Both chambers passed their own versions of the budget in late March. The House and Senate budgets both call for changing Medicaid into a block grant program. Negotiators are also weighing potential savings in the Medicare Program by reducing Medicare spending, however House and Senate proposals differ by $300 billion.

Late last week the president signed legislation to repeal the sustainable growth rate formula as the basis for the Medicare Physician Payment System. The law also delayed Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts mandated by the Affordable Care Act until 2018 and extended funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two years. The association sent a more detailed update to members last week.

In committee business, on Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to address opioid abuse. Also on Thursday, the Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Health Care will hold a hearing focusing on the impact of medical device taxes on jobs, innovation, and patients.



About the Author

Jocelyn Wiles is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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