President Obama presented his 2012 budget to Congress last week, but the document received a chilly reception from Republicans and even some Democrats who said it did not go far enough to address rapidly growing entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The budget did have a sweetener for physicians: a proposal to completely eliminate the dreaded Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula within 10 years, at a cost of $370 billion.
Even as Congress began what is usually a months’ long debate over the next fiscal year’s budget, it was busily waging war over the current year’s funding. As part of a continuing resolution to keep the government in operation, the House voted in a series of amendments to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. It also took huge swipes at dollars set aside to implement the Affordable Care Act.
To hear more about the budget battle and the latest attempt at tort reform on the Hill, take a listen to this week’s podcast:
And come back next week to hear how the Senate addresses the spending cuts delivered to its doorstep while it was on the President’s Day recess.
— Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)