I gave an impromptu lesson in government in my recent update on the Medicare Hospice Rate Cuts post, and figured I should extend that to what is going on with the Medicare Hospice Cap issue.
In the prior post, I discussed the fact that congressional fights are much easier won when your side can claim victory through congressional inaction. Doing nothing is a strong suit of our folks in Washington. In the rate cut debate, to have the rate cut stopped Congress must pass a bill, thus inaction has allowed the rate cut to take effect.
In the Medicare Hospice Cap issue, those on the side of a cap moratorium are in the unfortunate position of needing Congress to pass a bill to help them out. The Hospice Cap is the law. It has been in the law for years. The moratorium, or flat out end of the cap for that matter, will require Congress to write a bill, push it through committee(s), get it to the floor, and pass a vote. The only thing that has to happen for the cap to be enforced as the law requires is nothing. Again, it’s easier to do nothing than something, so nothing usually wins.
Last year those pushing the cap were able to get a moratorium bill written and introduced. It was sent to committee, and, unless I missed it, never was even heard in committee. Inaction wins again! I’m sure they will try to get the bill submitted again this year, and maybe it will get further this time around, but, in the end, they are fighting against congressional inaction. That seems to be a hard battle to win.