March 19, 2015
House and Senate Unveil Budget Proposals
This week, Republicans in both the House of Representatives and Senate unveiled budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2016.
On Tuesday, March 17, House Republicans released a budget that would balance the federal budget in nine years and cut $5.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. This budget proposes turning Medicare into a premium support model for individuals 56 years old and younger, starting in 2024, for $150 billion in savings. Read more about the House GOP budget proposal here.
The Senate Republican budget released on Wednesday, March 18 would balance in 10 years and cut $5.1 billion in spending. Republicans claim this budget meets President Barack Obama’s request for $430 billion in savings in the Medicare program, and would convert Medicaid to a program largely based on block grants to states. In contrast with the House Republican budget, the Senate’s proposal includes instructions that provide Congress with a process to respond to the upcoming Supreme Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell, which addresses federal subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act. This is important because bills written through budget rules cannot be filibustered in the Senate, making it much easier to pass. Read more about the Senate GOP budget proposal here.
Both budgets repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Senate budget also includes a reserve fund that could be used for a replacement to the Affordable Care Act.
Budget panels in the House and Senate will begin marking up the blueprints this week. The Senate Republican Budget Committee has said it hopes to reach a conference agreement with the House Republican budget by April 15. ASA staff continue to review the budget documents and are monitoring ongoing discussions in both the House and Senate.