Senate Dems Say Emerging Medicare Deal Does Not Pass ‘Test’

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee on Saturday issued a joint statement saying the emerging deal in the House to avert cuts to doctors under Medicare currently does not pass their “test.”
“Though we have not been part of negotiations in the House on the total package, we want to be clear that any legislation of this magnitude sent to the Senate must be balanced,” the senators said. “Unfortunately, our current understanding of what the House is negotiating does not sufficiently pass that test.”
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have been negotiating a deal for a long-term fix to automatic cuts to doctors under Medicare known as the Sustainable Growth Rate. Bipartisan committee leaders in the House released a “working summary” of a package on Friday afternoon.
While the Senate Finance Committee Democrats say they support the goal of ending the SGR, they raise concerns about other aspects of the package.
Senate Democrats had been pushing for a four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as part of the deal, but the emerging package includes only a two-year extension.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, on Thursday raised concerns about an “abortion policy rider” in the package.