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house Bill H.R. 1868

Preventing Automatic Spending Cuts to Medicare & Other Programs Triggered by Sequestration

Argument in favor

Congress needs to act to prevent automatic spending cuts to Medicare and other mandatory spending programs from being triggered by sequestration as they have done in a bipartisan manner in the past to protect seniors and those who rely on the programs.

jimK's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
UPDATED. The National Recovery Act was desperately needed, was lauded by economists, desperate people in need, the majority of Republican voters and the majority of Democratic voters - but NOT the Republican Senate. They see a highly beneficial and I believe an essentially needed act, as a threat to their 2022 election prospects. They have remained the party of obstruction and unrealistic demands disguised as supposed attempts to ‘compromise’. It was too important an act to play their games of constant delay and obstruction - so they can claim that Democrats could not get anything done as a basis for voting them out on 2022. Of course, they will try to use this bill as an excuse to attempt gutting Social Security and Medicare. This cannot happen. The voting rights act is also very important and will be subject to unending delays and filibuster by Republicans. That and the move by Republican State legislatures to make voting by people who don’t support them more difficult, will make it much more desirable for Democrats to eliminate or radically change the filibuster so it cannot be used as an ultimate weapon by a minority party to discredit the majority for political advantage. … … … The issues being addressed in the Recovery Act, the Voting Protections Act, immigration reform, and infrastructure - all of these are things, everything, all of these problems that have developed have either been ignored by or caused by the Republican Senate. They have not atoned for their sins of causing the economic crisis, the 552,000 unnecessary American Covid deaths to date nor their unwillingness to do their constitutional duty to honestly fulfill their role to hold an out of control tump in check. The Recovery Act would not have been needed at all, the economy would not be teetering at all and the outrageously excessive American Covid deaths would not have occurred if the Republicans had acted for the benefit of our country instead of for their lust for unearned political influence. So why, pray tell, is anyone beyond their radicalized cult willing to listen to anything that they have to say. How have they earned any right to have a voice in our government or any right to submarine the will of the majority? … … … Fix or eliminate the filibuster. Keep it as is and let the trumpublican idiots continue to rewrite history, spread their disinformation, influence elections and block any legislation that may benefit the country more than their party - and give them the gift of being able to claim that the do nothing Democrats could not get anything done. Screw McConnell’s threat to go scorched earth with procedural delays and vote to suspend every delay he attempts. He is only interested in political power, so just take it away. If and when the Republican Party shows some contrition for their egregious abuses, comes up with any new or better solutions or any ability to honestly compromise - just shut them out. The issues are many and the consequences of not resolving them are severe; these things are too important to let them be sacrificed on the alter of the political greed of a Party that has a proven inability to play by the rules and work for the benefit of the country instead of themselves and their party. … … … PattiZ: I am unsure of what planet or alternate dimension from which you sprung, but you seem to be quite confused. The spending which you claim will make us a third world country is supported by the FED, most economists and most of the electorate as needed to protect the economy from requiring much more extensive funding to rebuild. How is it that you can claim otherwise? What is the basis of your statement? What new economic insights do you have? Are there any? How is the Democratic Party trying to stack the 2022 election? A bold proclamation based on what, exactly? It is the Republican state legislatures that have introduced more than 250 bills to limit access to voting, to make it harder for people who can actually think from voting. What more than protecting a core right of every voter to be able to vote is it that the Democrats are doing? And just what is your bullshit claim that the Democrats are trying to gut Medicare and Social Security based on? They are the ones introducing legislation to protect and preserve these trust funds that so many depend upon. They are not the ones that introduced two trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% using budget reconciliation. There was no opportunity for the Democrats to even comment against it. I am sorry that you are so confused. Perhaps, you should spend a little more time looking into facts instead of the Russian disinformation gobbled up and regurgitated by right wing entertainment news outlets. Check the just released National Intelligence Report prepared by the trump administration which was blocked from release while he was in office. FACTS! Try them out. Free yourself from the bubble of right wing ignorance that you seem to be willing to live within.
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larubia's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
Stop robbing Peter to pay Paul! We keep fighting over pots of money that will hurt people that have the least! When times get hard, Peter & Paul squabble, while corporations like Walmart & Amazon & people like the Waltons, Trumps, and Bezoses pocket their billions (if not trillions).
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Dorothy's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
Interesting how this budget becomes a problem when it is not focused on putting money in the pockets of the 1% Their insatiable greed and control is ruining our people and Democracy. We experienced this during the robber Baron period of the 20s and obviously didn’t learn our history lesson. Our Democracy is successful when it benefits ALL the people, the money opportunities are shared and equality benefits all. When integrity, ethics, morals and values are removed from the system it fails and becomes fascism
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Argument opposed

Spending cuts to programs like Medicare triggered by sequestration are designed to protect taxpayers and future generations of Americans from an overwhelming national debt and should take effect. Congress should allow the cuts to occur.

Keene44's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
Shows how stupid our government is. This is a game to them. They don’t care where the money comes from. It’s Monopoly money to them.
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Carina's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
No! This is a means to force everyone into socialized healthcare!! Read the entire bill. Understand exactly what is meant. We are rapidly heading towards socialism and communism. This is not what the Framers intended for America. We will lose all of our freedoms. Government will control every aspect of our lives. Covid and the lockdowns and if vaccines and vaccine passports are forced we have become a communist country and are under a dictatorship. Americans can not let this happen!! How much freedom have we lost already. If we do nothing we consent to losing a free country.
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PattiZ's Opinion
···
03/19/2021
@Jimk. You are funny and very delusional. The Democratic regime is making us a third world country with their spending insanity. If anyone is stacking the deck for the 2022 election, it’s the Democrats. All of these bills and executive order is making their illegal acts become legalized. So sad that this is what you all have become. Many seniors citizens rely on these programs. Not supporting the citizens of this country who fight every day to make a living, but supporting these outlandish communist ideas is deplorable. Now to pay for their billions of dollar pet projects, they want to cut Medicare and the like? Who are these people? Demonized beings.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1868?

(Updated 3/24/2021) This bill has amended from its original form by the Senate to remove provisions that would prevent over $100 billion in automatic spending cuts under the PAYGO rule triggered by the enactment of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, which will likely be reconsidered in the future in a different form (you can read the summary of the original House bill here). The Senate version of the bill retains provisions aimed at preventing automatic spending cuts to Medicare and other mandatory spending programs triggered by sequestration under the Budget Control Act, and a breakdown of the current version of the bill, which returns to the House following Senate passage, can be found below.

It would also extend a moratorium on Medicare sequestration under the Budget Control Act through December 31, 2021, that is set to expire on March 31, 2021. Additionally, the bill would:

  • Ensure that benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are treated the same way when determining income under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  • Clarify that the Dept. of Labor should use a broader definition of unemployment insurance recipients when determining eligibility for services funded by Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment grants.

  • Correct the grandfathering deadline for Medicare rural health clinic payment changes to include clinics enrolled as of December 31, 2021, rather than December 31, 2019.

  • Prevent certain hospitals from inadvertently receiving a reduction to their Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital payments.

Impact

Medicare, Social Security, and other mandatory spending programs; beneficiaries and providers who utilize those programs; and the budget deficit and national debt.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1868

A CBO cost estimate of this legislation is unavailable. However, the CBO has projected that the American Rescue Plan’s enactment will trigger $36 billion in cuts to Medicare plus an additional $80-90 billion in cuts to other mandatory programs in fiscal year 2022.

More Information

In-Depth: House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) offered the following statement on the introduction of this bill to prevent automatic budget cuts to Medicare and other mandatory programs triggered by the enactment of Democrats’ $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan:

“The legislation I introduced today is largely technical fixes and sequestration adjustments that have historically been bipartisan and noncontroversial. When Republicans used reconciliation to pass tax cuts for the rich, Democrats voted with them to avoid sequestration and protect Medicare and other programs despite our strong opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This legislation should have the same outcome, but if Republicans play political games and don’t do their jobs, Medicare and the seniors that depend on it will pay the price.”

House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) offered the following comments about this legislation while it was prepped for floor consideration in the Rules Committee:

“The bulk of this bill is intended to address a consequence of last week’s passage into law of the majority’s partisan reconciliation spending package. As a result of the increased spending, statutory PAYGO sequestration cuts will automatically take effect unless Congress acts. While Republicans and Democrats alike agree that it is important to ensure cuts to mandatory spending like Medicare do not take place, it is disappointing that Democrats have chosen not to work with Republicans in putting together a bipartisan bill. There was an opportunity to do so here, but once again the majority has missed the mark. And let’s not get carried away with arguments that somehow Republicans got a lot of help from Democrats in dealing with this problem after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. The reality is, only 14 Democrats bothered to “help” on that. With all due respect, to all it may concern, none of those Democrats are either on this panel or appearing as witnesses today. So pleas for help on that front rang a bit hollow.”

The American Medical Association wrote a letter to congressional leaders in support of this bill, which read in part:

“On behalf of our physician and medical student members, the American Medical Association (AMA) is writing to express our strong support for the provisions of H.R. 1868, which would prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts that threaten the financial viability of physician practices, especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and beyond. This bill is vital to protect physician practices by extending the current moratorium on the two percent Medicare sequester cuts beyond the March 31, 2021 deadline. Importantly, this bill also protects physician practices by avoiding an additional Medicare statutory PAYGO cut of up to four percent that would have been triggered by the budgetary impact projected under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 recently signed into law.”

The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) wrote an article that encouraged lawmakers to oppose this legislation, which read in part:

“NTU urges all Representatives to vote “NO” on H.R. 1868, legislation that would waive across-the-board spending cuts required by law after passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Congress included few spending offsets in their $1.9-trillion ARP bill, and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act was created to address the very kind of budget discipline utterly lacking in the recently passed COVID relief bill. Though across-the-board spending cuts are often not the best way to achieve durable spending reforms in the government, taxpayers deserve some meaningful offsets to a multitrillion-dollar federal spending binge. While some of this spending has no doubt been necessary, much of it has been wasteful.”

Of Note: The pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule requires that legislation affecting direct spending or revenues not increase the budget deficit beyond either a 6-year or 11-year period. Deficits that aren't offset by provisions in such legislation trigger automatic sequestration cuts to Medicare and other mandatory spending programs, including student loan origination, the Commodity Credit Corporation, and more.

The Congressional Research Service notes that across-the-board spending cuts have never been triggered despite the Statutory PAYGO Act because Congress subsequently votes to exempt specific legislation from counting against the PAYGO scorecard.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / mj0007)

AKA

To prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts, and for other purposes.

Official Title

To prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate Passed March 25th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 90 Yea / 2 Nay
  • The house Passed March 19th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 246 Yea / 175 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Budget
    IntroducedMarch 12th, 2021

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    UPDATED. The National Recovery Act was desperately needed, was lauded by economists, desperate people in need, the majority of Republican voters and the majority of Democratic voters - but NOT the Republican Senate. They see a highly beneficial and I believe an essentially needed act, as a threat to their 2022 election prospects. They have remained the party of obstruction and unrealistic demands disguised as supposed attempts to ‘compromise’. It was too important an act to play their games of constant delay and obstruction - so they can claim that Democrats could not get anything done as a basis for voting them out on 2022. Of course, they will try to use this bill as an excuse to attempt gutting Social Security and Medicare. This cannot happen. The voting rights act is also very important and will be subject to unending delays and filibuster by Republicans. That and the move by Republican State legislatures to make voting by people who don’t support them more difficult, will make it much more desirable for Democrats to eliminate or radically change the filibuster so it cannot be used as an ultimate weapon by a minority party to discredit the majority for political advantage. … … … The issues being addressed in the Recovery Act, the Voting Protections Act, immigration reform, and infrastructure - all of these are things, everything, all of these problems that have developed have either been ignored by or caused by the Republican Senate. They have not atoned for their sins of causing the economic crisis, the 552,000 unnecessary American Covid deaths to date nor their unwillingness to do their constitutional duty to honestly fulfill their role to hold an out of control tump in check. The Recovery Act would not have been needed at all, the economy would not be teetering at all and the outrageously excessive American Covid deaths would not have occurred if the Republicans had acted for the benefit of our country instead of for their lust for unearned political influence. So why, pray tell, is anyone beyond their radicalized cult willing to listen to anything that they have to say. How have they earned any right to have a voice in our government or any right to submarine the will of the majority? … … … Fix or eliminate the filibuster. Keep it as is and let the trumpublican idiots continue to rewrite history, spread their disinformation, influence elections and block any legislation that may benefit the country more than their party - and give them the gift of being able to claim that the do nothing Democrats could not get anything done. Screw McConnell’s threat to go scorched earth with procedural delays and vote to suspend every delay he attempts. He is only interested in political power, so just take it away. If and when the Republican Party shows some contrition for their egregious abuses, comes up with any new or better solutions or any ability to honestly compromise - just shut them out. The issues are many and the consequences of not resolving them are severe; these things are too important to let them be sacrificed on the alter of the political greed of a Party that has a proven inability to play by the rules and work for the benefit of the country instead of themselves and their party. … … … PattiZ: I am unsure of what planet or alternate dimension from which you sprung, but you seem to be quite confused. The spending which you claim will make us a third world country is supported by the FED, most economists and most of the electorate as needed to protect the economy from requiring much more extensive funding to rebuild. How is it that you can claim otherwise? What is the basis of your statement? What new economic insights do you have? Are there any? How is the Democratic Party trying to stack the 2022 election? A bold proclamation based on what, exactly? It is the Republican state legislatures that have introduced more than 250 bills to limit access to voting, to make it harder for people who can actually think from voting. What more than protecting a core right of every voter to be able to vote is it that the Democrats are doing? And just what is your bullshit claim that the Democrats are trying to gut Medicare and Social Security based on? They are the ones introducing legislation to protect and preserve these trust funds that so many depend upon. They are not the ones that introduced two trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% using budget reconciliation. There was no opportunity for the Democrats to even comment against it. I am sorry that you are so confused. Perhaps, you should spend a little more time looking into facts instead of the Russian disinformation gobbled up and regurgitated by right wing entertainment news outlets. Check the just released National Intelligence Report prepared by the trump administration which was blocked from release while he was in office. FACTS! Try them out. Free yourself from the bubble of right wing ignorance that you seem to be willing to live within.
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    Shows how stupid our government is. This is a game to them. They don’t care where the money comes from. It’s Monopoly money to them.
    Like (20)
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    Stop robbing Peter to pay Paul! We keep fighting over pots of money that will hurt people that have the least! When times get hard, Peter & Paul squabble, while corporations like Walmart & Amazon & people like the Waltons, Trumps, and Bezoses pocket their billions (if not trillions).
    Like (68)
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    Interesting how this budget becomes a problem when it is not focused on putting money in the pockets of the 1% Their insatiable greed and control is ruining our people and Democracy. We experienced this during the robber Baron period of the 20s and obviously didn’t learn our history lesson. Our Democracy is successful when it benefits ALL the people, the money opportunities are shared and equality benefits all. When integrity, ethics, morals and values are removed from the system it fails and becomes fascism
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    Who set this bomb??? Let me guess--Republicans who try to sabotage Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and ?unemployment Insurance at every turn???
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    Republicans have no problem with corporate welfare and tax cut to 60 corporations and some wealthy that pay no taxes, but also have no problem kicking people on Medicare and social security to the streets. The intent the Republican have, is to defund programs by tax cut, this way you have zero taxes and no old people or government, just corruption, kickbacks and chaos. Pushing the burden to the local communities and capital expenditures. Welcome to a third world country. The problem with Greece it had deep seated fical problem due to a lack of revenue by the wealthy and corporations systemic tax evasion. This was a social norm. Does this remind you of anyone? They Joining the EURO 2001 and 2008 crash is that killed them.
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    I loved the reconciliation bill passed earlier in the month. That said, Reconciliation shouldn't be the standard way things like COVID relief were passed. Nor should it have been done for the billionaire giveaway in 2017. However, we are where we are, and poor people least of all should not suffer especially as a part of getting pandemic relief.
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    I don't want cuts to Medicare and other safety net programs, but I do support balancing the budget when possible. However, these are extreme times and our country needs to get the economy back on track and save the people who are starving and homeless. I think once this crisis is over we should try to reduce spending and increase income...and we can start with the massive tax cuts for the wealthy passed in 2017.
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    Passed House & Senate. Thank you, Representatives & Senators! Ready for President’s Signature.
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    No give-with-one-hand-and-take-with-the-other. We need relief on all fronts.
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    This is probably the biggest no brainer ever. Of course we absolutely need to protect our elders and our poor and needy. Anything else would be absolutely disgusting.
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    How about triggered cuts to the tax cuts for the wealthy and Fossil Fuel industry instead, and raising the effective tax rates on them? This is a better idea than taking funding from the poor and middle-class.
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    No! This is a means to force everyone into socialized healthcare!! Read the entire bill. Understand exactly what is meant. We are rapidly heading towards socialism and communism. This is not what the Framers intended for America. We will lose all of our freedoms. Government will control every aspect of our lives. Covid and the lockdowns and if vaccines and vaccine passports are forced we have become a communist country and are under a dictatorship. Americans can not let this happen!! How much freedom have we lost already. If we do nothing we consent to losing a free country.
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    This is a seriously inflammatory statement. The law calls for small cuts in programs for a year. That is terrible but how come we didn't hear about this when the previous administration had a 2.2 trillion bailout that 84% went to benefit the top 1%? That aside, these are extraordinary times and call for extraordinary measures. Yes, they need to fully fund all these programs.
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    We have paid into Medicare our entire working lives. Republicans have worked against the poor and the middle class for my entire lifetime. I’m 9 years from retirement. If we had equal pay laws and living wages for everyone, an equitable healthcare system, equality for all Americans, a strong Medicare and social security system, there would be a lot less poverty and homelessness and we wouldn’t be fighting these battles day after day for decades on end. Every politician of my lifetime has campaigned on these issues in every election for 50 plus years! Let’s do something to get them right and do it now! And we have to put a long expiration date on all of it so a Republican can’t come in and undo it all in a future election. Oh, and what JimK said.
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    how do we know it wasn't ''triggered'' by republicans who ran up the national debt higher then its ever been, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1% ? funny how we always have money for war, bombs, prisons, and tax cuts for corporations, but when the people need help- during a global pandemic- we get excuses.
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    Another rep. brady ‘Not Voting’🤮🤮🖕🔥. I pay you to work, dipshit!. You haven’t destroyed the country quite yet from the inside, so you still get back to work or QUIT CASHING MY COUNTRY’S CHECK‼️.
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    Seniors need protected. No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or social security. Place a higher tax on the wealthiest as they can afford it.
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    Our Medicare monetary fund can not have any automatic withdrawal of any form come out of it. We as a Country should never have borrowed from it (which never was paid back not withstanding the interest promised)..,you can’t keep doing this.
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    I suggest the republicans change their party from the conspiracy theorist liars, who want to make the rich richer, back to their GOP. Then they won’t have to spin stories and keep people from voting. The GQP is working hard to keep the Democrats from getting their agenda passed so they can use it as a way to get power and, perhaps, completely overthrow democracy this time. If they are worried about government spending on those who need it, perhaps they should help get Biden’s tax plan passed so the wealthy can start paying their fair share of taxes.
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