Democratic members of the U.S. House Budget Committee have released a brief Frequently Asked Questions primer on the budget sequestration set to take effect on January 2, 2013. The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires across-the-board cuts to Federal spending in an attempt to reduce the Federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion by 2021. The Act caps reductions in Medicare payments to providers and suppliers at two percent. The FAQs do not provide much detail on how CMS will administer those cuts. Rather, the document offers a concise overview of how sequestration works generally and the amount of savings the law exacts from defense and non-defense programs. Of note, the Democratic members expect that the Medicare cuts will also reduce Medicare premiums for beneficiaries because such premiums are based on total program costs ― ultimately resulting in lower premium collections for the Medicare program and “offset[ting] a portion of the savings in the program.” The FAQs are available here.
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