Archive for the ‘House’ Category
AHL’s TOP STORY: Senate Approves $3.7T FY 2014 Budget Proposal, Considers About 80 Health Care-Related Amendments
The Senate on Saturday voted 50-49 to approve a $3.7 trillion fiscal year 2014 budget proposal that includes $275 billion in health care reductions and calls for nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the next decade, AP/Modern Healthcare reports (Daly, AP/Modern Healthcare, 3/23). The vote marks the first time in four years that the Senate has adopted a budget proposal (Wasson, “On The Money,” The Hill, 3/23).
The Senate Democratic proposal (S. CON. RES. 8) — written by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) — would reduce the federal deficit by $1.85 trillion. Murray’s proposal would lower the federal budget deficit to an amount equal to 2.2% of gross domestic product by 2023 through an equal mix of new tax revenues and spending cuts, including a $265 billion reduction to Medicare and a $10 billion cut to Medicaid. In addition, Murray’s budget proposal would replace the $1.2 trillion mandated cuts under sequestration, including a 2% cut to Medicare reimbursement rates, with a mix of targeted spending cuts and new tax revenue (American Health Line, 3/22).
AHL’s TOP STORY: Senate Rejects Ryan’s FY 2014 Budget Proposal, Considers Amendments to Murray’s Plan
The Senate yesterday voted 40-59 to reject House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) House-approved fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, The Hill‘s “Floor Action Blog” reports (Cox, “Floor Action Blog,” The Hill, 3/21). Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) forced the vote on Ryan’s budget after Republicans failed to introduce a version as an amendment to Murray’s FY 2014 budget proposal (Gibson, Politico, 3/21).
Ryan’s budget proposal would balance the federal budget over the next decade by repealing the Affordable Care Act, transitioning Medicare to a premium-support program and turning Medicaid into a block-grant system. The budget proposal calls for $4.6 trillion in savings, with about $2.7 trillion coming from federal health care programs (American Health Line, 3/20).
Five GOP senators — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Ted Cruz (Texas), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) — voted with Democrats against the budget proposal (“Floor Action Blog,” The Hill, 3/21).
AHL’s TOP STORY: House Approves Senate-Amended Continuing Resolution Extension To Keep Government Funded Through FY 2013
The House today voted 318-109 to approve a Senate-amended continuing resolution extension bill (HR 933) that would fund the federal government through Sept. 30 and would avert a government shutdown on March 27, when the current CR expires, Politico reports (Rogers, Politico, 3/21). The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature (Helderman, Washington Post, 3/21).
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 73-26 to approve its version of the CR bill, which was attached as an amendment to the House version that was passed Thursday, the New York Times reports (Peters/Weisman, New York Times, 3/20).
The House on Wednesday voted 244-185 to approve legislation (HR 6079) that would repeal the federal health reform law. The vote marks the 33rd time since January 2011 that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act.
CNN‘s report on the vote seemed rather snarky, as it noted that the House GOP pushed for repeal “despite Democratic objections that the move was a waste of time.” The clip states, “The vote amounted to political theater because the measure is sure to die in the Democratic-led Senate and the White House has made clear Obama would veto any repeal.”
Politico‘s report on vote seemed positive by comparison. Despite noting in its headline — “House votes to repeal ‘Obamacare’ — again” — the GOP’s continued opposition to the law, the article noted that the move sent “a symbolic but powerful GOP message to voters: The Supreme Court may have upheld it, but it’s still a bad law.”
OUR TAKE: The vote was clearly a politically motivated and — many would argue — legislatively futile attempt to repeal the health reform law. If Republicans wanted to send a more “powerful” message, they actually should have included a replacement plan along with it to boost their stance on the law.
By Hanna Jaquith, staff writer
The House yesterday voted 244-185 to approve legislation (HR 6079) that would repeal the federal health reform law, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 7/11). The vote marks the 33rd time since January 2011 that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (Helderman, Washington Post, 7/11).
The measure is not expected to be approved by the Senate (Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, 7/11). Further, President Obama has said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk (Bendavid, Wall Street Journal, 7/11).
The House today will vote on legislation (HR 436) that would repeal a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices created to help fund the federal health reform law, the Washington Times reports (Winfield Cunningham, Washington Times, 6/6).
The package includes two other GOP proposals, including legislation (HR 5842) that would eliminate restrictions on consumers’ ability to use tax-preferred savings accounts to pay for the cost of over-the-counter drugs and a bill (HR 1004) that would allow individuals with pre-tax flexible spending arrangements to keep up to $500 in unused funds (American Health Line, 6/4).
The House yesterday passed a budget reconciliation bill (HR 5652) that would override automatic cuts scheduled to take effect next year and instead cut entitlement spending, the Washington Times reports.
The bill passed 218-199 on a mostly party-line vote, with 16 Republicans and all 183 Democrats voting against it. The measure is not likely to advance in the Democrat-controlled Senate (Dinan, Washington Times, 5/10). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) already has said he will not bring the measure up for debate (Newhauser, Roll Call, 5/10). The White House also has said President Obama likely would veto the bill if it reached his desk.
The automatic cuts are a result of the debt panel’s failure to reach a compromise last summer. Many lawmakers want to repeal the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, out of concern for defense programs, while others have taken issue with the cuts’ effect on Medicare.
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The House today is scheduled to consider legislation (HR 5) that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by the federal health reform law, The Hill‘s “Healthwatch” reports. The House Rules Committee approved the measure yesterday, and a final floor vote is expected today or tomorrow.
Lawmakers this week return from a two-week recess and are scheduled to consider several health-related spending bills, CQ HealthBeat reports. The House today is scheduled to consider legislation (HR 1213) that would repeal funding for state-based health insurance exchanges created under the federal health reform law. The chamber also will consider a bill (HR 1214) that would repeal funding for school-based health clinics (Jenks, CQ HealthBeat, 5/3). On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to vote on legislation (HR 3) that would block federal funding for abortion services. The measure includes another bill (HR 1232) that would prohibit using tax benefits to cover abortions (CQ HealthBeat, 5/3). In addition, House panels on Thursday will hold two hearings related to health care. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Appropriations Committee about HHS’ policies and priorities. Meanwhile, members of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee are expected to discuss Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 5/2).