Congress Ends Shutdown
Now that the government shutdown battle has ended, AGA will continue to advocate that Congress move legislation to permanently fix the broken Medicare physician payment formula before the end of the year. We will also continue to advocate for adequate funding for medical research through the NIH and other agencies and stress the impact that research funding has on our country’s economic competitiveness.
The agreement to reopen the government extends current funding of the government until Jan.15, 2014, and the debt limit until Feb. 7, 2014; instructs the House and Senate to negotiate a broader budget agreement on tax and spending policies by Dec. 13, 2013; and requires HHS to put procedures in place to verify income for individuals seeking health insurance subsidies under the new exchanges. Although the agreement essentially “kicks the can down the road,” it does reopen the government and ends the impasse. The Senate passed the agreement by a vote of 81–18 and the House passed the bill by a vote of 285–144, with the majority of Republicans opposing and most Democrats supporting.
AGA will continue to monitor the budget process and its impact on gastroenterology. Continue to look for more updates in AGA eDigest and on the AGA Washington Insider.