Supercommittee Fails to Reach Deficit-Reduction Agreement

December 8, 2011

Supercommittee Fails to Reach Deficit-Reduction Agreement

After nearly three months of negotiations, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as  the supercommittee, failed to reach an agreement on the deficit-reduction proposal leaving in place a 27 percent cut in Medicare physician payments that will take effect on January 1, 2012. Under August’s debt limit increase law, the Committee had until November 23 to vote on a proposal. But the panel had to have an agreement by midnight on November 21 to meet a requirement of 48 hours notice of any proposal.

Proposals that were submitted to repeal the SGR failed due to disagreement over fundamental principles for achieving deficit reduction. Partisan division over the mix of entitlement cuts and tax hikes kept the supercommittee from any agreement on a deficit-reduction package.

Leaders on both the democratic and republican sides have stated their commitment to take action to stop the 27 percent cut and mentioned potential options for SGR assistance outside of the supercommittee, such as short-term relief of a year or two to longer-relief that would provide transition to a new Medicare physician payment system.

The SNM will keep you updated on any changes that may occur.