The House voted 397-32 on June 11 to strike the use of additional Medicare sequestration cuts in 2024 to pay for the cost of extending the Trade Assistance Adjustment program.

The provision, contained in the Trade Preferences Extension Act, would replace the Medicare sequester extension approved last month by the Senate – estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to represent $700 million in reductions – with savings by strengthening federal tax compliance laws.

The bill now must pass the Senate, which, despite objections from the AHA and other health care organizations, last month approved the trade legislation containing the Medicare cuts. Those groups June 11 thanked House members for voting to replace the cuts, noting that, if the provision is passed by the Senate, they will withdraw their previous opposition to the trade package and will not view a vote for the overall package as a vote for Medicare cuts.

“Hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and home health and hospice providers have already absorbed hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the Medicare program in recent years,” the groups stated. “We believe that it is an unwise precedent to use Medicare cuts to pay for non-Medicare related legislation.”