House Approves GOP Budget Plan With Federal Health Spending Cuts
The House on Wednesday voted 228-199 to approve a Republican budget plan that seeks deficit reduction in part through revisions to federal health spending, The Hill reports (Shabad, The Hill, 3/25). No Democrats voted in favor of the proposal (Weisman, New York Times, 3/25).
House Budget Details
Under the GOP budget, Medicare would transition to a "premium support" model for future beneficiaries. Under the provision, Medicare would provide funds for beneficiaries who join the program after 2023 to purchase private coverage.
Also under the House plan, the federal government would give states a lump sum to run their individual Medicaid programs (California Healthline, 3/19).
The budget overall calls for $5.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, of which about $1 trillion would come from changes to health programs for low-income individuals, such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (Espo, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/25).
In addition, the House budget measure calls for 13 House committees to draft reconciliation measures and would give the committees until July 15 to submit their bills. Budget reconciliation allows budget bills to be passed by a simple majority of 51 votes. House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-Ga.) has said that the House would attempt to use reconciliation to repeal provisions of the Affordable Care Act "in their entirety" (California Healthline, 3/19).
About $2 trillion of the deficit reduction would come through repealing the ACA, according to the AP/Bee (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/25).
Senate To Consider GOP Budget
Meanwhile, the Senate will consider a Republican budget proposal Thursday. If the proposal passes, Republicans in the two chambers would reconcile their plans and present a unified budget for the first time in a decade, according to the Times (New York Times, 3/25).
If both chambers pass a unified budget, Congress could then use reconciliation to revise or repeal the ACA. However, President Obama would likely veto such as proposal (Peterson, Wall Street Journal, 3/25).
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, "It’s important that you have the opportunity to put on the president's desk a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it," adding, "That puts it front and center for the presidential campaign" (The Hill, 3/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.