The House today voted 355-59 to pass a bill, H.R. 6331, that would cut Medicare Advantage program funding by $13.8 billion over 5 years and impose new restrictions on marketing of Medicare Advantage programs.
If Congress does not pass some kind of bill quickly, current law calls for Medicare to cut payments to physicians 10.6% starting July 1.
Many members of Congress hope to give physicians modest pay increases over the next 18 months.
Senate Finance Committee leaders recently failed to come up with a Medicare Advantage funding and physician reimbursement bill.
The House bill incorporates cuts in Medicare Advantage proposed in a bill introduced by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on behalf of Senate Democrats.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the highest ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed cuts of $9.9 billion in his version of the bill.
Ira Loss, an analyst at Washington Analysis, Washington, says the Senate is unlikely to rubber-stamp the House bill, H.R. 6331, before going on its July 4th recess Friday.
“We continue to believe the two camps will reach a smaller compromise (likely about $15 billion) on the Medicare legislation later this summer and retroactive to July 1,” Loss said.