UPDATE: The Senate passed the budget bill early Friday morning and is now awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget bill late Wednesday that averts a federal government shutdown and retains the spending cuts that were put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2011, commonly known as the sequester, which includes 2-percent Medicare provider payment cuts.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.
The measure, approved by a House vote of 266 to 167, with 79 Republicans joining 187 Democrats in favor, “averts a potentially devastating default by lifting the federal borrowing limit through March 2017, and it sharply reduces the risk of a government shutdown by setting clear spending targets for the next two years,” according to a report Wednesday evening in The New York Times.
“There will be about $30 billion in savings from Medicare, about $7 billion of that from equalizing payments to hospitals and other medical service providers,” The Times article added.
A longer version of this story appears in Long-Term Living's sister-brand, Healthcare Informatics.