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New push to delay Medicare cuts

New push to delay Medicare cuts

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., have introduced a bill that would extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts through the public health emergency.  

Right now, the moratorium is set to expire March 31.  

The “pay for” for the bill, S. 748, would extend the sequestration cuts to 2031, instead of 2030, said Seth Johnson, senior vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products. 

“We had heard that if the sequestration cut moratorium was extended it would increase the 2% Medicare reduction to as much as 4% when re-implemented,” he said. “(Collins and Shaheen) were looking to address that issue, so they extended the sequestration period by a year. We are expecting movement by Congress potentially later this month.”  

The bill was necessary because the cuts weren’t addressed in the recently signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which contains provisions for everything from setting up community vaccination sites to sending $1,400 per-person checks to providing support to small businesses.  

There’s also some activity in the House of Representatives, with two bills currently being drafted to address the looming cuts – one would extend the moratorium through Dec. 31; the other through the end of the PHE.  

“No one knows when the public health emergency will end, but it’s likely it will extend into next year,” said Craig Douglas, vice president of payer and member relations for VGM & Associates. “There are some bills out there. They’re trying to get that addressed.” 


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