Senate Passes Sequestration Suspension Extension Bill
Last week, the Senate by a vote of 90 to 2 passed legislation (H.R. 1868) to further extend the suspension of the 2% Medicare sequestration cut. H.R. 1868 would extend the suspension from March 31 to December 31. The Senate amended the bill so it goes back to the House which will likely consider the legislation the week of April 12 when it returns from the Easter holiday break. The House is expected to easily pass the bill. CMS will hold claims until the House passes the bill to avoid any retroactivity issues.
The House had previously passed a version of H.R. 1868 which would not only extend the sequestration suspension until December 31 but also prevent a potential 4% sequestration cut later this year. The additional cut is the result of a provision in the Budget Control Act which was triggered with passage of the American Rescue Plan. Senate Republicans objected to addressing the additional cut as part of the legislation and a compromise was reached to just extend the 2% cut suspension for the time being.
The AAA as well as the IAFC, IAFF, NVFC, CFSI and NAEMT had written to congressional leaders in support of passage of the House-passed version of H.R. 1868.