The U.S. Senate early today voted 64-35 to pass legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit and set spending targets for the federal budget for the next two fiscal years. Approved by the House Wednesday, the bill now goes to President Obama, who said he will sign it into law. The legislation extends the debt ceiling to March 2017 and raises discretionary spending caps imposed in 2011 under sequestration by $80 billion, split evenly between defense and non-defense spending. It also staves off an impending increase in Medicare Part B premiums for some seniors. The cost will be offset in part by implementing site-neutral payments for provider-based hospital outpatient departments created after the bill’s date of enactment. The bill also will extend the 2% Medicare sequester for an additional year. For more information, see today’s AHA Special Bulletin for members.