Senate Adopts Modified Continuing Extension Act

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Senators have given final passage to the Continuing Extension Act (H.R. 4851) by a vote of 59 to 38.

Prior to that action, they adopted a cloture motion on a substitute amendment to the bill offered by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT).  It passed 60 to 38.  Based on an agreement reached before the votes, the substitute amendment was subsequently adopted and added to the legislation once cloture passed.

The Baucus substitute amendment keeps all of the same provisions currently in the bill but extends them for an extra month, through the end of May.  This will, in theory, give House and Senate leaders enough time to work out differences and move forward on a larger bill to extend programs for the remainder of 2010.

This bill extends “jobless benefits, subsidies for the COBRA health insurance program and federal flood insurance through May 5,” according to the Washington Post.

Among other things, it would also “halt a 21 percent cut in payments to physicians who treat patients on Medicare,” according to Congressional Quarterly.

The “doc fix” would prevent a pay cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians that had been scheduled to take effect April 1 but was temporarily delayed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because of the expected legislative action. The bill would extend higher payments for physicians through April 30 — at which time the cuts would be reinstated unless the payments are extended again.

Due to the fact that Senators modified the bill it will have to be passed by the House before being sent to President Obama for his signature.

Update: The bill was passed in the House and signed by President Obama this evening.

(credit image – getty)

4 Comments

Filed under COBRA, Flood Insurance, Medicare, Unemployment

4 responses to “Senate Adopts Modified Continuing Extension Act

  1. Arelene N.

    Here we go again. Back to the House. My benefits, along with hundred of thousands of others, are about to run out. What is so difficult about extending much needed unemployment benefits to the thousands of people that need it right now? There may be current signs of recovery, but without this extension it will too late for many people. With the unemployment rate still above 10% in my state and an average of 1 job for every 5 people looking for work, it would be premature to stop paying emergency unemployment benefits. Many of us have exhausted our savings, maxed out our credit cards and can’t afford to wait around anymore. For many people, it is already too little to late. I besiege you – please put your partisan differences aside and considered the thousands of unemployed workers that need immediate help. Do the right thing – pass the extension, rework extended tiers and start helping us create our own jobs. Make the banks free up stimulus funds to us unemployed, so we can create our own business. However, since our credit cards are maxed out and our credit scores are at a record low – the banks should have to agree to help the unemployed by making funds available to those that really need it inspite of our credit ratings. Instead of the banks taking a chance with risky speculative ventures make them take a chance on the back bone of America – the Middle Class. We are the ones that have been wiped out by this great recession.

  2. Arelene N.

    Great News –

  3. Thank you to whomever is updating this site. The Flood Insurance challenges are really hurting our mortgage clients and home sellers. Every time a closing is held up because someone can’t secure flood insurance, the domino effect is huge. Mr. Smith can’t close on his house, so, Mrs. Jones can’t close on hers and the moving people, and the title company, and the family who was going to help, and realtor who has bills to pay. . .

    Did I mention I’m in Southern Louisiana where the majority of our clients are required to have flood insurance?

    Guys, let’s make this work. We want to stimulate the economy and you’re killing us here.
    Hurry up and take care business.

  4. Debbie

    Does anyone know if they are working on a 5th extension to unemployment or adding more than 99 weeks?

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