House Approves GOP Budget with Medicare, Medicaid Provisions

On March 29, 2012, the House of Representatives approved on a 228 - 191 vote H.Con.Res. 112, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal establishing budget targets for fiscal year 2013. The resolution (which was approved with no Democratic votes) would direct various House committees to develop legislation to, among other things: repeal the ACA; establish a Medicare “premium support” program (under which beneficiaries turning 65 on or after January 1, 2023 would receive a premium support payment to offset the cost of the traditional Medicare program or a private plan); provide a 10-year Medicare physician fee-schedule fix (no details are provided); raise the Medicare eligibility age starting in 2023 to conform with Social Security eligibility; expand Medicare means testing; and convert Medicaid to a block-grant program. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has voiced strong opposition to the House Medicare proposals.  Moreover, the Senate is not expected to act on any budget resolution this year, since Senate Leader Reid has indicated that he plans to rely on the budget parameters set forth in last summer’s debt ceiling agreement.
 

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