Passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (S. 365) on August 2 raised the debt ceiling through 2012 and averted default by the U.S. government. The Act includes trillions of dollars in cuts to government spending and creates the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to identify $1.5 trillion in further reductions. Currently, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have not been directly impacted; however the American Nurses Association (ANA) expects that these programs will be very much on the table as the newly created super committee seeks to identify additional cuts. Committee members will be appointed within 14 days of enactment, so this process will begin quickly.
ANA remains concerned about the future of these safety-net programs and the impact of potential cuts on nurses and patients. We will keep membership informed as the process moves forward.
In the meantime, here are some links with information on the final deal and next steps that nurses may find helpful:
See how members of Congress voted: House | Senate