July 22nd, 2011 | View Archive
The Senate "Gang of Six" released an outline proposal on July 19 that is projected to save over $3.7 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. The details have yet to be written by Senate Committees but the plan framework will be implemented in a two-step legislative process—a bill that implements $500 billion in initial cuts and then a bill to address comprehensive spending reform. Among other things, the plan would impose an immediate cap on discretionary spending through FY2015, implement budget changes, and change the tax code.
On Tuesday, the "gang of six" also discussed the plan with over 40 Senators and have since received increasing bipartisan support from Senate colleagues.
Although discussions between President Obama and Congressional leadership have continued with optimistic hopes to reach consensus before August 2, there is an increasing likelihood of a short-term extension of the debt ceiling before a long-tern deal can be passed.
"CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE" HOUSE LEGISLATION
On Tuesday, July 19, 2001, the House passed its "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill. The measure would impose statutory spending caps to wring $5.8 trillion in unspecified savings from the government over the next decade. Nondefense discretionary spending would see a 30 percent cut over 10 years. The bill passed the House by a vote of 234-190.
The Senate considered the bill on Friday, July 22, where it failed by a vote of 51 to 46.
BUNDLED PAYMENT RULES TO BE IMPLEMENTED BEFORE 2013
As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, regulators will accelerate release of rules implementing bundled payments. By bundling payments, the patient will pay collectively for the services received during a hospital visit, rather than paying separately for each service delivered by each health care provider at the hospital.
Dr. Richard Gilfillan, acting director of the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the CMS, expects that the rules implementing bundled payments for Medicare providers will come before their 2013 deadline. In addition, bundled payments will likely focus on the acute- and post-acute-care segments initially because private-sector initiatives have already succeeded in those areas.
HHS ANNOUNCES PROPOSED RULE ON HUMAN RESEARCH SUBJECTS
In an effort to strengthen protections for human research subjects, HHS issued a proposed rule on July 22 to revise the 1991 "Common Rule" for modern use. The proposed rulemaking can be found in the July 25 Federal Register. Public comments are sought on: revising the current risk-based formula to parallel the level of review to the level of risk, using one board to review all domestic sites of multi-site studies, establishing mandatory data security and information standards, making data collection more efficient, and providing uniform guidance on federal regulations.
To view the ANPRM, please visit http://www.regulations.gov, enter ID number: HHS-OPHS-2011-005 in the "Enter Keyword or ID" field, and click on "Search."
To submit a comment, visit http://www.regulations.gov, enter the above ID number, and click on "Submit a Comment."
For additional information about the changes under consideration, visit
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