Budget deal could include 2% Medicare cuts

Near midnight Monday, Congress reached an agreement on proposed federal budget legislation that would increase the nation’s borrowing limit through March 2017, preventing a default that might otherwise come within a week. The two-year budget agreement would involve cuts to both Medicare and the Social Security Disability Fund, cuts which Democrats have vehemently opposed.

“The introduction sets up a vote as early as Wednesday on the bipartisan budget deal which would increase military and domestic spending and avert a potentially catastrophic default in exchange for long-term spending cuts,” notes a Washington Post article.

The bill proposes an $80 billion spending increase over a two-year period and would increase the federal borrowing cap through March 15, 2017. If Congress chooses to vote on the legislation Wednesday, it could be one of the last acts as Speaker of the House for John Boehner (R-Ohio), who intends to step down later this week.

“The timeline is tight for building support for the plan with the Treasury Department saying the debt ceiling will be hit by Nov. 3,” the Post article notes. “The legislation is expected to be the primary issue discussed on Tuesday morning during a weekly closed-door meeting of House Republicans. But it remains unclear if House conservatives will support the deal, leaving Boehner and his allies to spend his final days in office rallying support for a potentially unpopular agreement. If he is successful the deal could clear the slate for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) who is expected to be elected speaker later this week.”

A fuller version of this story was published in Long-Term Living's sister-brand, Healthcare Informatics.

Topics: Finance , Medicare/Medicaid