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Categorized | Legislation, Reform

Gang of Six Presents Deficit Reduction Plan to Senate

This morning, the Gang of Six, which, again, includes Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) presented its deficit reduction plan to the Senate. According to Sen. Coburn, the deal gaining momentum in the Senate includes $116 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts, although the committees of jurisdiction would have to shape the specifics.  He also reported that the proposal fully pays for a SGR fix “with no gimmicks.”  Of note, the plan proposes to:

  •  Adopt statutory discretionary spending caps through 2015
  • Repeal the CLASS Act
  • Require the Senate Finance Committee to report legislation within 6 months that would permanently reform or replace the Medicare SGR formula and fully offset the cost with health savings; find an additional “$202 billion/$85 billion” /10 years in health savings; and maintain the essential health services that the poor and elderly rely upon
  • Require the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to report legislation within 6 months that would find an additional $70 billion/10 years in savings
  • Require the Senate Judiciary Committee to report legislation within 6 months that would advance medical malpractice reform
  • Require the Senate Finance Committee to report tax reform within 6 months that would include reforming – not eliminating tax expenditures for health
  • Require the Budget Committee to report legislation within 6 months that would: extend discretionary caps and enforcement mechanisms through 2021; ensure Congressional action to reduce the deficit if the debt-to-GDP ratio after 2015 has not stabilized; review total federal health care spending starting in 2020 with a goal of holding growth the GDP + 1% per beneficiary and require action by Congress and the President if exceeded; achieve program integrity savings of $26 billion in entitlement programs to curb fraud, abuse, and other wasteful spending government-wide; and create a working group to provide updated budget concepts for CBO and OMB
  • Provide that if any Committee fails to report entitlement program savings, the Senate would considered on an expedited basis across the board cuts to programs in the Committee’s jurisdiction