The Senate early this morning approved on a party line vote a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which included reconciliation instructions which will provide the majority party with the means to pass a comprehensive reconciliation package with just 51 votes in the Senate, rather than the usual 60-vote hurdle.
The House will reconvene on Aug. 23 to consider the budget resolution. Once the resolution has passed both chambers, the House and Senate majorities can proceed with the reconciliation process, a resolution to which is expected in the fall.
Among the Democrats’ planned expenditures are subsidized child care, expanded Medicare benefits, and paid family and medical leave benefits. With respect to health care, the resolution’s assumptions include action on the following health care initiatives: a continuation of expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies; filling the “Medicaid coverage gap”; addressing health care provider shortages through action on Graduate Medical Education; an expansion of Medicare to cover hearing, dental and vision benefits and lowering the eligibility age; home health care benefits for seniors and persons with disabilities; addressing inequities in health care; reducing prescription drug costs; and certain workforce investments, including the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education.