Healthcare Business News

Legislation to avoid mandatory cuts awaits budget panel

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: May 1, 2012 - 5:00 pm ET

Next week, House Budget Committee members will consider legislation that includes healthcare spending reductions and the repeal of some provisions of the reform law as part of a package to avoid across-the-board cuts to federal programs set to begin next year.

In March, the House passed a fiscal 2013 budget resolution that also instructed six House committees to develop proposals that achieve the same deficit reduction outlined in last year's Budget Control Act as a way to avoid mandatory cuts known as sequestration. That process is scheduled to begin on Jan. 2, 2013, and calls for across-the-board cuts to defense and non-defense programs.

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Those committees have since submitted their proposals to the House Budget Committee, which include a plan for medical liability reform from the Judiciary Committee; a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's prevention and public health fund and maintenance-of-effort requirements from the Energy and Commerce Committee; and a recommendation to collect overpayments from certain individuals who receive subsidies for state insurance exchanges from the Ways and Means Committee.

These are only some of the recommendations folded into the “Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 (PDF),” a 187-page bill that the House Budget Committee will consider in a hearing slated for 2 p.m. ET May 7, the first day House members will return from a weeklong recess.

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