We have been reporting recently that unless Congress passes new legislation soon there will be significant cuts in Medicare payments to health care providers, such as doctors and hospitals. If that happens it is quite possible those patients covered by Medicare would likely face negative consequences with regard to their health care.
While the House of Representatives has passed legislation (H.R. 1868) to stop those cuts, the Senate has been a question mark.
The good news is that there was progress last week in moving the needed legislation forward. The Senate passed its own version of H.R.1868, which would postpone the cuts for another nine months.
However, it differs from the House version which means it must go back to the House to see if it will agree with the changes that were made.
The House passed H.R. 1868 by a vote of 246-175 on March 19, with 29 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.
The Senate amended and passed the bill 90-2 on March 25, with two Republican Senators voting against it.
If the bill is going to reach the President’s desk for his signature the House will have to agree to the changes the Senate made and pass it one more time. It may take a couple of weeks if that is to happen, however, because the House will not be back in session until the week of April 12.
This is not the end of the story, however. More legislation will be needed to stop additional Medicare payment cuts that are scheduled in 2022.