Both the House and Senate are poised to pass a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill later this week. The package will provide funding for Federal agencies and programs based on the budget agreement that was reached by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) in December.
Earlier in the week, the House passed a resolution that extended the January 15 deadline to January 18 to provide more time to debate the omnibus package only to pass the legislation by a 359-67 margin. The spending bill is also likely to pass the Senate easily.
Both the budget resolution that passed, as well as the spending bill which is being considered this week, will keep in place the 2 percent Medicare cut to providers that went into effect as part of the sequester cuts last year. Following the lead of the budget framework, the omnibus package does not include any additional cuts to Medicare nor any new copayments as part of the legislation.
Once the spending bill passes, Congress will turn its attention to the Medicare “doc fix” or SGR bill. For more on what, exactly, is included in the SGR bill, please see NAHC Report, December 17, 2013.
Congress will likely be debating the SGR bill around the time that NAHC’s annual March on Washington is getting under way. There is no better opportunity to urge lawmakers to pass this critical legislation – and to be a strong voice for the home care and hospice community – than joining with peers and colleagues during the March.