Extended Medicare sequester may help fund $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

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One of the funding sources for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill includes an extension of Medicare sequestration through 2031, according to the American Hospital Association

The federally mandated payment cut initially was created in 2011 by the Budget Control Act to reduce federal spending by more than a trillion dollars. The cuts target all industries, but Medicare spending specifically is subject to a cut of 2 percent annually.

Under the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the U.S. will use unspent funds from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act and will extend the ongoing Medicare cuts to fund the infrastructure changes.  

The AHA argues that the Medicare sequester should not be extended to pay for "unrelated programs."

"There should not be cuts to the Medicare program to pay for unrelated programs," said Stacey Hughes, AHA executive vice president for government relations and public policy. "Hospitals, health systems and physicians through the pandemic have dealt with unprecedented demands. Congress has recognized this in a variety of ways including eliminating the Medicare sequester in 2020 and 2021."

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