KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Budget Consideration Continues In Both The Senate And The House

In the Senate, a "voteless" markup was held on Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad's, D-N.D., presentation of the Bowles-Simpson plan. Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., says he will bring the House GOP budget plan advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., up for a vote by the full Senate later this year.

The Hill: Senate Voteless 'Markup' May Be Another Blow To Bowles-Simpson
A decision by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) to present the recommendations of President Obama's fiscal commission in committee but not to bring them to a vote shows how far Congress remains from producing a debt "grand bargain," supporters and critics of the fiscal commission said Wednesday. The fiscal commission report, authored by former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) evoked hopes of a grand bargain when it received bipartisan support of 12 of 18 commission members in 2010 (Wasson, 4/18).

The Hill: Toomey To Force Vote On Ryan Budget
Congressional Republicans are coalescing around a plan for reforming Medicare sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), an influential voice on budget issues in the Senate, adopted Ryan's Medicare plan in the budget proposal he unveiled Wednesday. He said he will force the Senate to vote on the proposal later this year by taking advantage of a rule that allows any senator to offer a budget if the Budget Committee fails to act (Bolton, 4/18).

On the House side, Republicans on the Ways & Means Committee are targeting subsidy overpayments as a way to chip away at funds that would be gained by the sequester.  

Modern Healthcare: Proposal Targets Subsidy Overpayments
A House tax panel's proposal that would require individuals to fully repay overpayments in federal subsidies for insurance exchanges aims to save about $43.9 billion over 10 years, but a congressional tax expert estimates it would lead to an annual average net increase of about 350,000 more uninsured individuals. The provision is one of three measures that the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee will propose to the House Budget Committee as a way to reduce the nation's debt and deficits in place of the sequester, which will make across-the-board cuts to federal programs next year (Zigmond, 4/18).

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