Senate To Hold Cloture Vote on Jobs Bill That Averts Medicare Cuts
Today, the Senate is scheduled to hold a cloture vote that would limit debate on a bill (HR 4851) that would implement a 30-day freeze to scheduled Medicare reimbursement cuts for doctors and a temporary extension of COBRA subsidies, CQ Today reports.
Democrats and Republicans reached a stalemate on the bill prior to the spring recess, disagreeing on whether its cost of $9.2 billion should be offset. The GOP protested that such extensions should not add to the deficit, while Democrats argued that similar bills have been considered emergency spending and passed in recent years (Weyl, CQ Today, 4/9).
The legislation would halt payment cuts to physicians treating Medicare beneficiaries that were scheduled to take effect on April 1 but temporarily delayed by CMS because of expected legislative action. The measure would delay the cuts for a month while lawmakers consider a longer extension or a permanent solution to the reductions (Ethridge, CQ Today, 4/9).
More than 200,000 U.S. residents on April 5 lost their jobless benefits, including subsidies to pay for health insurance through COBRA, because of the standoff in the Senate.
Under the temporary extension, those people would have the opportunity to apply for an extension of those benefits through the federal program (Pershing, Washington Post, 4/12). The extension would last through May 5.
At least one Republican in the Senate must join all Democrats in voting to invoke cloture and end debate on the legislation (Weyl, CQ Today, 4/9).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.