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On the Hill: Snow Delays, Tax Reform, Budget, Seniors

This week the House and Senate cancelled votes on Monday, due to the weather-related  government closure. The Senate also cancelled votes for Tuesday, while the House voted Tuesday evening.

Last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) released a plan to reform the federal tax code. Camp and the committee have been working on the plan for about a year – holding 20 separate hearings last fall and creating 11 different tax working groups.  Some major changes included in the plan would reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, repeal the alternative minimum tax, and consolidate the six individual income brackets into two.

On Tuesday, President Obama released his budget for the 2015 fiscal year, allocating $3 billion less to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) than requested last year. The budget would continue to fully fund the Affordable Care Act and would add $14.6 billion, targeted to increasing the number of providers caring for newly insured individuals, new graduate medical education grant funding, and the Medicaid primary care payment bump. To pay for these programs, the budget cut indirect medical education funding by the same amount.

Also on Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled, Keeping the Promise: How Better Managing Medicare Can Protect Seniors’ Benefits and Save Them Money. Witnesses included officials from the Government Accountability Office and Robert Vito, regional inspector general at HHS.



About the Author

Walsh is a former senior manager of legislative affairs for America's Essential Hospitals.

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