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House Passes Sequestration Cut Delay Bill

Dec 08, 2021

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act (S. 610) to delay implementation of an additional 4% reduction in reimbursement for Medicare providers and suppliers including ground ambulance services. The legislation also extends the temporary deferral of the 2% reduction in Medicare reimbursement. S. 610 now goes to the Senate which is expected to consider the legislation by the end of the week.

The potential additional 4% cut in Medicare reimbursement was triggered by passage earlier this year of the American Rescue Plan pursuant to PAYGO rules requiring the cost of legislation to be offset. Under S. 610, Congress would waive the PAYGO rules for one year to 2023. The cuts are currently scheduled to occur early in 2022 if the Congress does not act by the end of the current congressional session.

Under S. 610, the Congress would also extend the current freeze on the long-standing 2% reduction in Medicare sequestration cuts. Congress had deferred the cuts during the COVID-19 public health emergency, but the deferral is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. S. 610 would extend the 2% freeze until March 31, 2022, and then reduce the freeze to 1% from April 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022. To offset the cost of the deferral, S. 610 would increase the reductions in 2030.