With the latest continuing resolution (CR) signed by President Trump, Congress shifts its focus to a two-step process that requires separate legislative action: First, establish and likely raise budget caps for defense and domestic spending and next, draft a set of new appropriations bills.

While it is possible to complete both steps within a few days of each other, the consensus is that Congress will determine the budget caps by the current Feb. 8 deadline. Then, they would likely seek to pass another short-term CR for two to three weeks to allow time to write the new appropriations bills. Once completed, the appropriations bills would likely be considered as part of a package of legislation or “omnibus” that would fund the government for two years.

There is ongoing concern that the offsets needed for increasing funding levels would require extending Medicare sequestration into 2025 and 2026 and would reduce payments for hospice transfers. Health care providers remain resolute that no further cuts should come from the field.

SDAHO continues to work with national partners to add key provisions in the package including delaying cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments for two years and extending important Medicare programs for rural hospitals.