Senate To Keep Working Next Week On Debt Talks
As the two political parties spar over how to reduce the deficit, some health advocacy groups are nervous about cuts in funding.
The Associated Press/Fiscal Times: Senate To Work Next Week On Debt Limit Impasse
The Senate abandoned plans for a July 4 break as time dwindled for lawmakers to strike a compromise on avoiding a government default and reducing mammoth federal deficits. In a challenge to President Barack Obama, the chamber's top Republican invited him to the Capitol to discuss the impasse with GOP lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the scheduling change Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama prodded lawmakers to act swiftly to extend the government's ability to borrow money (Kuhnhenn, 6/30).
CQ HealthBeat: Heart Association President 'Very Worried' About Potential NIH Cuts
Gordon F. Tomaselli begins his job as president of the American Heart Association with lots to do from the start - including trying to protect the $31 billion budget of the National Institutes of Health from new cuts that might arise in negotiations on shrinking the federal deficit. ... Friday is the first day at AHA for Tomaselli, who said in an interview that the organization's members "have to be strong and vocal advocates for the NIH budget" - which, along with other federal spending, is under intense scrutiny for potential savings. "We're very worried," Tomaselli said (Reichard, 6/30).
Meanwhile, a Senate panel opted not to cut Medicare payments to imaging providers.
CQ HealthBeat: Cuts To Imaging-Provider Payments Staved Off In Trade Deal
Imaging industry advocates said Thursday they managed to avert a $400 million reduction in Medicare provider payments that had been attached to a trade deal's worker assistance package. The Senate Finance Committee instead will find revenue from other sources, including penalties to be collected from hospitals and physicians who are not meaningful users of electronic health records, according to preliminary estimates from the committee. The cuts to advanced imaging services such as MRIs and CT scans had been included to help pay for a renewal of expired Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers (Norman, 6/30).