Senate Extends Moratorium on Medicare Spending Cuts

The Senate on March 25 passed a bill extending the moratorium on 2% Medicare spending cuts through the end of the year. The compromise will provide a nine-month extension of the sequester moratorium, fully offset by extending the sequester into the 2031 budget window. This measure aligns closely with a recently introduced bipartisan bill from Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Collins (R-ME), with the exception that the compromise extends the moratorium until Dec. 31, 2021, rather than the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The Senate floor action did not include a broader effort to waive statutory “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) cuts – including an estimated $36 billion cut in Medicare spending – triggered by the recent passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.

The House is expected to pass the Senate proposal when it returns in mid-April, and the College plans to continue advocacy efforts urging additional legislation later in the year to waive the $36 billion PAYGO cuts. In February, ACC joined forces with over 100 other medical specialty societies to urge the importance of this legislation to protect practice stability and patient access.

ACC will continue to follow this closely and provide updates via ACC.org, the Advocate newsletter, and @Cardiology on Twitter.

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Public Health, COVID-19, Medicare


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