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Without Action, Over A Dozen Federal Programs Will Expire In December

A broad group of health care programs and tax provisions will run out next month unless Congress takes action. Many will have a big impact in Maine if they are allowed to expire.

Separate from the federal budget that runs out Dec. 11, are a range of programs that were created to address the pandemic crisis. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says many are health-related.

“So many of them are critical health care extenders as they call them. Community health centers, special diabetes programs,” she says.

Several provisions of Medicare and Medicaid are set to run out, as is a temporary pandemic unemployment program. And U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says her measure that increased the income tax medical deduction will also come to end, unless Congress takes action to extend it.

“It expanded the medical expense deduction for people who had high medical expenses. For example, seniors who did not qualify for Medicaid but have long-term care expenses which are very costly,” she says.

Collins also says hospitals could see reduced payments

“There are several health provisions having to do with reimbursement levels that need to be extended as well,” she says.