Last week Congress did not act in time to head off the so-called budget sequestration cuts. On March 1, 2013, the budget sequester therefore took effect and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Congress a report on implementation details. As a result of sequestration, physicians will face a two-percent reduction in Medicare payments beginning on April 1, 2013. The two percent Medicare cut is part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) which requires $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Throughout the negotiations, organized neurosurgery continued to advocate the importance of reaching a bipartisan agreement to prevent indiscriminant budget sequestration cuts that would threaten funding for critical health programs, including Medicare, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additional details about the budget sequester are available from a previous Neurosurgery Blog post.
Healthcare is a central to our daily lives and policymakers in Washington, DC have an enormous influence and control over this vital aspect of society. Yet despite this, most people cannot see what goes on behind the scenes of health policy circles in our Nation’s capital. The mission of Neurosurgery Blog is to investigate and report on how healthcare policy affects patients, physicians and medical practice and to illustrate that the art and science of neurosurgery encompasses much more than brain surgery.
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