According to “Pay it Forward,” Medical Marketing & Media’s overview of 2013 …
After a tumultuous few years of healthcare policymaking, the recent election brought a big victory for Obamacare. It's now all systems go for the law, with sweeping change for the American healthcare system and tens of millions more insured. Expect this status quo to be anything but boring.
ACA implementation isn't the most immediate cause for anxiety among healthcare policy types. That honor goes to the “sequester,” a high-stakes game of budgetary chicken set to play out over the next month or so. Last year's standoff between the White House and Congressional Republicans over the “debt ceiling” was resolved, in classic Washington fashion, by kicking the can down the road a bit, but with a twist—if the two sides couldn't agree on painful cost savings by January 2, a legislative “trigger” would be tripped prompting brutally deep cuts (of $1.2 trillion over nine years) to defense and social spending. Medicare is largely exempt from the cuts—limited to 2% of its budget—and Medicaid and CHIP are off-limits. FDA, however, would face deep cuts—projected at $318 million—that would slow approvals and rules-making, according to the Office of Management and Budget, and effectively freeze PDUFA.
“Sequestration would be a complete disaster for all involved,” says Peter Pitts, former FDA associate commissioner. “The FDA simply doesn't have any slack in its budget and would not have the bodies to do things on time. This is not the status quo but a significant step backwards.”
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