March 05, 2014
White House Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal
On March 3, the White House released the Administration's Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 proposed Budget. The $3.9 trillion FY 2015 Budget and it’s proposed combination of spending, revenue and cuts would yield $564 billion in deficits in 2015.
The budget would repeal the sequestration process, including the mandatory two percent reduction to Medicare physician payments. Additionally, the budget calls for $402 billion in mandatory health care cuts over ten years achieved through a number of tweaks to Medicare spending. These cuts are result of suggested policy proposals including: changes to the Medicare Part D program that require drug makers to provide rebates to low income seniors; adjustments to Medicare deductibles and copayments; reduction to Graduate Medical Education through reducing Indirect Medical Education funding by 10 percent; reduction of the Medicare rate of payment for bad debts (non-payment of deductibles and copayments); reduction of payments to Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) from 101 percent to 100 percent and eliminating the designation of CAHs within 10 miles of another hospital; and "cutting waste, fraud and abuse."
Of particular interest to anesthesiology, the President’s budget calls for further reducing the rate of Medicare spending growth by lowering the target spending threshold for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Established as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, IPAB consists of an unelected and unaccountable body of 15 individuals tasked with designating Medicare spending cuts. ASA firmly opposes IPAB.
Additionally, the Administration's budget calls for “Permanent, Fiscally Responsible Reform to Medicare’s Payments to Physicians" and the budget assumes a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
At this time, it is uncertain what consideration Congress will give to the President’s Budget.
ASA continues to closely monitor the budget proposal.
Review President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget.
Review CMS Summary on FY 2015 Budget Proposals.