Pressure Mounts to Remove Medicare Cuts from Trade Legislation
Reports Indicate Congressional Leaders have Agreed to Remove Medicare Cuts
With a growing number of lawmakers in the U.S. House expressing opposition to the use of Medicare cuts to pay for the cost of legislation reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), the latest reports indicate it is increasingly likely the Medicare cuts will be removed from the legislation.
As previously reported, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) partnered with other health care and senior groups in order to oppose a provision in the TAA legislation that cuts Medicare to offset the cost of the bill. Subsequently, several members of Congress expressed their opposition to the Medicare cuts by circulating a letter addressed to House Speak John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Senate passed the trade legislation last month, but the House has yet to act with many representatives on both sides of the aisle expressing opposition.
Now, according to information received by NAHC, House leaders have agreed in principle to removing the Medicare cuts and replacing them with a separate offset, in what would be a huge victory for health care and senior advocates. According to POLITICO, House leaders have decided to offset the bill by increasing tax penalties on companies that file incorrect 1099 tax returns and stepping up enforcement of fraudulent higher education tax credit claims.