Updated: Dems Threaten Budget Deal Over ‘Doc-Fix’, Unemployment Insurance

Left balks at proposal to take care of doctors but drop support for unemployed.

Hastings: Calls allegations lies.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
Clara Ritger
Dec. 11, 2013, 11:04 a.m.

House Demo­crats don’t want to pass a “doc fix” without ex­tend­ing un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance, and they’re threat­en­ing to sink the budget deal over it.

“If we’re go­ing to provide re­im­burse­ment to phys­i­cians, and I fa­vor that, I think we need to be sure we don’t leave 1.3 mil­lion people out in the cold,” said Rep. Sander Lev­in of Michigan at the House Rules Com­mit­tee meet­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

The pro­posed doc fix would delay for three months a 20 per­cent cut in re­im­burse­ments to phys­i­cians who provide ser­vices for Medi­care be­ne­fi­ciar­ies, as in­sti­tuted by the Sus­tain­able Growth Rate for­mula. Con­gress had tried for a bi­par­tis­an, bicam­er­al per­man­ent fix in 2013, but with two com­mit­tees set to mark up the le­gis­la­tion Thursday, will not com­plete it un­til the be­gin­ning of the year.

But by re­open­ing the deal to in­clude a fix to phys­i­cian re­im­burse­ment, the budget pact’s shep­herds open them­selves to a host of re­quests to ac­com­mod­ate oth­er pri­or­it­ies.

“I per­son­ally am con­flic­ted as to wheth­er I will vote on this” budget deal, said Rep. Al­cee Hast­ings, D-Fla. “I can’t leave that many people by the way­side un­less I have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing about what’s hap­pen­ing here.”

Un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance pay­ments to ap­prox­im­ately 1.3 mil­lion people will ex­pire Dec. 28 without con­gres­sion­al ac­tion. Demo­crats hope to fore­stall that by pro­pos­ing a three-month ex­ten­sion of the be­ne­fits along with the three-month doc-fix pro­pos­al.

“The fail­ure to act on UI and hav­ing to do so on [phys­i­cian re­im­burse­ment] puts the en­tire bill at risk,” Lev­in said. “It’s not a cut of 25 per­cent — it’s 100 per­cent elim­in­a­tion of their be­ne­fits. It’s his­tor­ic­ally high.”

The com­mit­tee met Wed­nes­day to mark up the Medi­care meas­ure along with the Bi­par­tis­an Budget Act of 2013, the deal hammered out by Rep. Paul Ry­an, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash. and an­nounced late Tues­day.

Up­date 7 p.m.: The three-month SGR pro­pos­al was re­por­ted out of com­mit­tee on a vote of 9-3.

What We're Following See More »
GRASSLEY STILL WANTS HER TO APPEAR ON MONDAY
Ford Asks for FBI Investigation into Her Claims
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Christine Blasey Ford told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley Tuesday night that she wants the FBI to investigate her claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, raising further doubts about whether she and Kavanaugh will appear before the committee on Monday." Grassley still wants her to

$200 DONORS TO ADVOCACY ADS MUST BE DISCLOSED
SCOTUS Upholds Ruling on Donor Transparency
10 hours ago
THE LATEST
DEFENSE AND LABOR-HHS
Senate Approves $854B Spending Bill
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Senators on Tuesday voted 93-7 to pass a sweeping $854 billion spending bill that includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education, which make up the lion’s share of total government spending." Six Republicans voted no, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. "It’s the first time the Senate has approved funding for Labor, HHS or Education outside an omnibus bill since 2007."

Source:
IN AFTERMATH OF FLORENCE
Trump Visiting Carolinas Tomorrow
14 hours ago
THE LATEST
"It is not yet clear where in North Carolina Trump is expected visit. Trump is expected to visit Myrtle Beach while in South Carolina.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina are expected to fly on Air Force One with Trump."
Source:
TO OCT. 3
FEMA Postpones Trump Text Alert
15 hours ago
THE LATEST

FEMA, "which oversees the wireless emergency alert (WEA) system, announced that the test that had been scheduled for Thursday will be pushed back to Oct. 3, citing the 'ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.'" The system, intended for national emergencies, allows the president to send a nationwide wireless message.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login