Senate committee approves budget without Medicare cuts to providers

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The Senate Budget Committee voted to approve a fiscal year 2008 budget resolution that did not include some proposed Medicare payment cuts to healthcare providers.

In a 12-11 vote, the committee rejected amendments sponsored by Republican members that would have reduced Medicare reimbursements to healthcare providers by tens of billions of dollars, according to Congressional Quarterly. The defeated amendment also would have increased Medicare prescription drug benefit premiums for seniors with annual incomes more than $80,000 and couples with annual incomes more than $160,000.

The House Budget Committee is scheduled to take up its budget plan this week. The Senate and House both have to pass bills and then reconcile them before the president would take action.

More on the budget resolution is available at http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/.