President Obama signs two-month extension into law

President Obama signed the two-month payroll tax/Medicare extension into law after the House of Representatives officially passed the Senate extension bill Friday. The measure, almost identical to a Senate-passed resolution, extends vital rural provisions for two months while congressional leaders work out a compromise for a year-long measure. The Senate and House conference committees are expected to begin their work on funding the full-year tax cut/Medicare extensions after the New Year...

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Republican Leaders Agree to Pass a Version of Senate Extender Legislation

Leadership aides inside the House of Representatives have told media outlets that the chamber will take up, and presumably pass, a version of the Senate payroll tax-Medicare extender legislation.  The measure, almost identical to a Senate passed resolution, will extend vital rural provisions for two months while congressional leaders work out a compromise for a year long measure.  The measure will be slightly modified from the Senate passed measure to allow implementation of the short term...

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House votes to disagree with Senate extender legislation

The House of Representatives voted to "disagree" with Senate passed legislation aimed at extending vital Medicare extenders, including many rural relevant provisions.  In a 229-193 vote, the House asked for an official conference to reconcile the differences between the Senate measure and a bill passed by the House that failed to include a number of rural provisions.  The House bill also included a number of offsets or "pay-fors" that would harm rural providers and facilities. The Senate...

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House sets votes on Senate version of Medicare Extenders

House Republican leadership held a press conference on Monday night announcing their plans to hold various votes on Senate legislation that would extend certain tax and Medicare provisions for two months.  Leadership expressed firm opposition to the legislation and predicted that the House would defeat the measure. House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly advocated for a "conference" procedure that would allow House and Senate negotiators to reconcile differences in their versions of the...

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House Republicans Voice Opposition to Senate "Extenders" Legislation

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced early Sunday morning that House Republicans would oppose the Senate passed extension of various Medicare provisions, including rural specific provisions. The Senate passed package would extend, for a two-month period, the outpatient hold harmless provision, Medicare Section 508 reclassification, reimbursement increases for ambulance services, rural mental health add-ons, extension of therapy cap exemptions and an update for the sustainable growth...

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Senate Passes Two-Month Medicare Extender Legislation

The Senate passed a modified Medicare extender bill early Saturday morning that includes a number of expiring rural health provisions.  The legislation extends, for a two-month period, the outpatient hold harmless extension, Medicare Section 508 reclassification, reimbursement increases for ambulance services, rural mental health add-ons, extension of therapy cap exemptions and an update for the sustainable growth rate within the physician fee schedule. A full copy of the legislation can be...

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Rural Health Champions Call for Extension of Rural Medicare Programs

Senator Mark Begich (AK) joined a chorus of rural health champions on Capitol Hill in sending letters to House and Senate leadership regarding the need to extend vital rural Medicare programs on Friday.  Senator Begich wrote about the challenges that rural health providers face in delivering care.  He expressed concern that current proposals "omitted provisions designed to sustain our rural delivery system".  He called on Congress to extend these expiring provisions and consider the impact of...

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NRHA commends Senator Begich, Representatives McMorris Rodgers and Thompson for work on Medicare Extenders

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Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Conference Report Released

Congressional leaders announced an agreement late Thursday night that will fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2012.  The agreement falls in line with the budgetary caps created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and includes spending levels for nine of the twelve annual appropriations bills.  The other three spending bills were agreed to prior to this agreement. The agreement, known as the "Conference Report" includes a $2 million dollar increase for the "Rural and...

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House of Representatives Votes on H.R. 3630

Tonight the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, by a vote of 234-193. Despite the fact that the bill included an important two-year delay in steep cuts to the Medicare physician reimbursement rate, NRHA strongly opposed H.R. 3630 and believes the bill will be detrimental to the fragile rural health care safety net.  Specifically, the bill does not include many of the critically important expiring rural Medicare “extenders...

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