The House Budget Committee voted this week to approve a budget resolution that would reduce government spending by more than $5 trillion over a decade, according to AHA News.
More than half of the proposed cuts would come from healthcare, largely through repealing coverage provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while still maintaining the healthcare law's spending reductions, according to the article. Other recommendations in the non-binding budget blueprint, which passed the committee 22-16 along party lines, include:
Stricter means-testing for Medicare Parts B and D
Repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board
Creating a deficit-neutral reserve fund for a long-term alternative to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula
Reforming the medical liability system
"According to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed deficit reduction would boost the economy," according to a statement from the Budget Committee. "As a result of commonsense spending restraint and much-needed economic growth, the budget balances in 10 years and starts paying down the debt."
Under the blueprint, Medicare would shift to a premium support program in 2024, giving workers currently under the age of 55 a choice between a traditional fee-for-service plan through a new Medicare exchange and a private plan, according to the article. The plan would create $129 billion in net Medicare savings over 10 years. The blueprint would also convert Medicaid into a block grant program and cut federal spending on Medicaid and other programs by more than $700 billion over 10 years. The full House will likely consider the resolution next week, according to the article.
In March, a deal to permanently repeal SGR lost bipartisan support when House Republicans added language that would delay the ACA's mandate requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance. After the GOP inserted the language, Congress instead passed another one-year delay of SGR implementation, FierceHealthcare previously reported.