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OMB Issues Report to Congress Warning of $11.1 Billion Medicare Cut

On September 14, 2012 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a report to Congress pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (STA). The report indicates that under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), Medicare spending could be cut by almost $11.1 billion in fiscal year 2013 if a plan is not enacted to reduce the national deficit by $1.2 trillion.

The BCA requires that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction propose a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, and that Congress enact that plan. If a plan is not enacted by January 2, 2013, automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, will occur on that date. Medicare direct spending is budgeted at almost $554.3 billion. The BCA limits the amount by which Medicare non-administrative spending can be cut to 2%. This would equal roughly $11.1 billion in fiscal year 2013. Because the sequestration would apply to non-administrative spending, providers would likely see a majority of the effects of the sequestration. Medicaid is exempt from sequestration.

It appears that efforts will continue to be made to enact a deficit reduction plan before Congress adjourns at the end of 2012.