As Congress returned from the August recess, lawmakers and stakeholders geared up for the first public meeting of the Budget Control Act’s Super Committee meeting on September 8. In preparation for the Committee’s work, the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats released a list of potential health care specific cuts that the Super Committee could consider. The compiled list was an accumulation of pay-fors that have been offered in various deficit reduction plans. The list totals more than $500 billion over 10 years and staff confirmed the offsets have not been officially endorsed by Members. The list included mostly Medicare focused cuts, such as accelerated home health rebasing ($3 billion) and a new home health copay ($40 billion), post acute provider market basket freeze ($14-28 billion), increased SNF cost-sharing ($21.3 billion), elimination of the rural health hospital add-on payment ($62 billion), GME cuts ($15 billion), new cost-sharing for clinical lab services ($24 billion), new Part D rebate for dual eligible and LIS beneficiaries ($120 billion), increased cost-sharing on beneficiaries with Medigap coverage ($12-53 billion), raise Medicare eligibility age to 67 ($124 billion), freeze income thresholds for high income beneficiaries and raise premiums ($13 billion) and chained CPI ($7 billion). In a jobs-focused speech to a Joint Session of Congress, President Obama called on the Super Committee to come up with additional cuts to pay for his newly proposed American Jobs Act, such as through “modest adjustments” to Medicare and Medicaid....
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