Last week President Barack Obama proposed to cut $313 billion from Medicaid and Medicare over the next 10 years as part of so-called health reform, in addition to the $635 billion in cuts in his FY 2010 budget. (Source)
The president proposes to expand coverage to “millions” who don’t have it, while bringing down the cost of care. How does he intend to accomplish these seemingly opposing goals? Among other things, limiting growth of Medicare’s fee-for-service payments and cutting subsidies to hospitals that treat uninsured patients. Providers like nursing and rehabilitation facilities and long term care hospitals would see their payments reduced. Obama anticipates that more uninsured patients will be covered under his universal health care plan.
The American Hospital Association expressed disappointment over the president’s proposed cuts.
“Hospitals are already facing as much as $41 billion in cuts due to the Medicare payment system changes recently proposed by the Administration. Additional cuts of this magnitude could severely jeopardize hospitals’ ability to care for their patients and communities.”