The House of Representatives yesterday voted 266-167 to pass legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit and set spending targets for the federal budget for the next two fiscal years. The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would extend the debt ceiling to March 2017 and raise the discretionary spending caps imposed in 2011 under sequestration by $80 billion above current levels, split evenly between defense and non-defense spending. It also would stave off an impending increase in Medicare Part B premiums for some seniors. The cost would be offset in part by implementing site-neutral payments for new provider-based hospital outpatient departments – those that come into being after the date of enactment of the bill. The bill also would extend the 2% Medicare sequester for an additional year.