House passes 2011 budget proposal
Medicaid spending for home- and community-based care soars, report finds
In a 260-167 vote Thursday, the House of Representatives approved the FY 2011 budget, which President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) brokered last week. The budget passed with bipartisan support.
The budget is intended to lower federal agency budgets by $38 billion in the second half of 2011. According to a Congressional Budget Office, the bill will actually cut $352 million in expected spending, with additional cuts coming via “budget authority,” The Washington Post reported. The Senate will now vote on the budget, and officials expect it to be sent to President Obama and signed by Friday evening.
The $38 billion in cuts includes a $400 million cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs, mostly in information technology and construction, as well as a variety of cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services. The latter includes eliminating $2.2 billion for a program under the health care law that would have subsidized loans to civic and community groups forming not-for-profit health insurance cooperatives, the Washington Post reported.
This vote is seen by many to be a warm-up for the upcoming battle over the fiscal year 2012 budget, which, as proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), would make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid.