The stalemate in Washington continues to stymie legislative action on other fronts. The public has been bombarded with the accusations and public posturing regarding government closure. Most have to do with politics and the 2014 midterm elections. Both parties are looking to shift the blame and appeal to their bases. Jitters on Wall Street may change the dynamics next week.
In the meantime, the wind is getting is getting knocked out of the sails of other issues. We still have legislation in the wings concerning Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR). Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) proposals have been put on hold. Some momentum on the self-referral front created by the president’s budget and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has stalled.
In the short term, the debt ceiling debate will soon take center stage with little to no reprieve from the government shutdown. This dynamic may extend the legislative slowdown. Alternatively, bills or amendments may rapidly get attached to much larger pieces of legislation, which are again quickly ushered around the regular deliberative legislative process. Our government relations team and grassroots advocacy efforts will need to be nimble and adaptive to the political climate. We will be keeping you informed via this blog.
Author – Howard B. Fleishon, M.D., MMM, FACR