House passes spending cut bill containing Medicare spending cuts

Share this content:

The House on Thursday passed spending cut legislation that included a 2% cut in Medicare spending, although the bill is unlikely to gain traction.

The bill, called the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, H.R. 5652, would cut $310 billion from the federal deficit over 10 years. But the legislation also would cut programs for the poor, such as food stamps, in an effort to prevent automatic military spending cuts from taking place next year, the New York Times reported.

Additional cuts proposed in H.R. 5652 include the elimination of grants for setting up health exchange markets, elimination of the public health and prevention fund and changes to the healthcare “provider tax” arrangement with Medicaid. 

Long-term care groups have long warned that the 2% cut in Medicare spending could have a negative impact on nursing homes' bottom line.

The legislation passed the House along party lines, in a vote of 218-199, with no support from Democrats. Sixteen Republicans voted against the bill. The Senate is not expected to take up the bill, and the White House has threatened to veto it.