Follow Up on Sustainable Growth Rate Requirement Re: Congress
The House by a vote of 237 to 182 today passed legislation permanently repealing and replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate requirement. The Bill now goes to the Senate. However, while both parties have agreed that a repeal is essential and to some extent have agreed on the replacement, the funding mechanism set forth in the House bill (delaying the Affordable Care Act mandate) is opposed by the Democrats. Therefore, it is unlikely that it will pass the Senate.
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has stated that he hopes that final resolution will be completed by March 31st.
In light of the passage by the House with the funding solution being delaying the Affordable Care Act mandate, and the Democratic opposition, it is unlikely that the House solution will be adopted by the Senate. Therefore, over the next 16 days, the Senate must pass its version of legislation, which if it differs from the House, will need to be remanded back to the House and potentially a Senate-House Committee for resolution and forwarded to the President for his signature all before March 31st.
While this is unlikely, it is possible. The more likely event however is a temporary extension of the delay of the Sustainable Growth Rate implementation for a period of time.