WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 1868, Medicare PAYGO Waiver, which would exempt the American Rescue Plan Act COVID-19 relief package from statutory PAYGO scorecards.

“We should not have to choose between protecting Medicare and providing relief during the public health and economic crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Medicare PAYGO Waiver exempts the American Rescue Plan from statutory budget rules and defers sequestration dates to after the pandemic, preventing cuts in Medicare and other mandatory spending programs. This is consistent with exemptions Congress provided under the three previous COVID-19 relief packages passed in 2020.   

“Today’s passage of H.R.1868 will also support health care providers by suspending across-the-board payment cuts. Many hospitals and other health care providers are already under significant financial pressure from the pandemic. Delaying these cuts is a commonsense step to help ensure health care providers are able to continue providing care at a time when individuals and families need it most.”