The Senate today passed by 90-2 vote a bill that, among other health care provisions, would eliminate the 2% across-the-board cut to all Medicare payments, known as sequestration, until the end of 2021. To pay for the change, the bill, which was introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would increase the fiscal year 2030 sequester cuts. The House is expected to take up the Senate-passed bill when it the week of April 13 when it returns to Washington D.C.
In a statement, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “America’s hospitals and health systems thank the U.S. Senate for working in a bipartisan manner today to extend relief from pending Medicare cuts to doctors and hospitals that would have gone into effect in just a few days. More than a year into this pandemic, hospitals, health systems and our caregivers remain on the front lines in the fight against the virus by caring for patients and vaccinating communities. While vaccines give us great hope for the future, with over 85,000 new cases and nearly 1,500 deaths due to COVID-19 yesterday alone, according to Johns Hopkins, we are not out of the woods yet and it is in everyone’s interest to keep hospitals strong.
“The AHA will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure hospitals and health systems have the support, resources and tools they need to continue to provide essential services to their patients and communities during the pandemic and beyond. This includes more overall funding for the Provider Relief Fund, relief for hospitals and health systems with Medicare accelerated payments and Congressional action by the end of the year on Medicare cuts due to the effects of PAYGO.”