U.S. Senator Susan Collins has announced that both the Senate and the House passed a continuing resolution that includes a provision that will prevent any automatic cuts to the Medicare program that could have been triggered as a result of the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO).
Prior to the vote, Senator Collins spoke on the Senate floor and urged her colleagues to support her motion to defeat an attempt that would have allowed the harmful, indiscriminate budget cuts to be triggered. Senator Collins’ motion passed by a vote of 91-8. As a result of Senator Collins’ efforts, the legislation protects Medicare and will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.
“Congress took important action today to avert an automatic four percent cut to Medicare—estimated to be roughly $25 billion—that could have been triggered as a result of PAYGO," said Senator Collins. "Medicare provides essential health care benefits to our nation’s seniors, with 10,000 new beneficiaries added each day. These across the board cuts would also have had a devastating impact on hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and other providers, which provide essential health services.
“It was critical for Congress to act quickly so that seniors would not have the anxiety of wondering whether the tax bill would somehow negatively affect their health care.
“In order to ensure these cuts were avoided, I wrote to the Senate Majority Leader, urging that we immediately remove the threat of an automatic cut in the program’s funding. In response, the Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House released a joint statement that said: ‘This will not happen.’ Today, I am pleased that Congress codified that commitment into law and prevented these sudden and harmful cuts.”
Following the passage of a continuing resolution that includes a provision preventing an automatic cut to Medicare, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a statement recognizing Senator Collins’ efforts to ensure this $25 billion reduction did not go into effect.
“Senator Collins was clear throughout that we can never allow these arbitrary cuts to take place. This was a commitment made, and a commitment kept,” said Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan.