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U.S. Senate Releases Budget Plan Based on Simpson-Bowles

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has released a draft budget plan based on the deficit reduction plan put forth in 2010 by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — known as “Simpson-Bowles” for the commission’s co-chairs. The Senate Budget Committee plan would extend the authority of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to hospitals; prohibit the use of provider taxes under Medicaid; cut Medicare bad-debt payments; and reduce spending on graduate and indirect medical education. CHA opposes the expansion of IPAB and several other Medicare cuts to providers. Although the Senate Budget Committee began a markup of the bill today, Sen. Conrad admitted a vote on the budget is not likely to occur until after November’s elections. The Senate’s budget plan is available at http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/.