Angst Rises Over Proposed Health Cuts

News outlets report on efforts by health care players to make clear their concerns about proposed reductions in spending for Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs.

The Boston Globe: Health Care Players Decry Cuts Pitched In Washington
More than 50 state health care workers, executives, union activists, and lobbyists gathered on Beacon Hill yesterday to protest anticipated federal funding cuts they say would squeeze the state budget and devastate a business sector key to the Massachusetts economy. While members of the hastily assembled coalition said they were still tracking fast-changing budget talks in Washington, D.C., some estimated the cuts being contemplated could drain $1 billion to $3 billion in annual health care funding from the state's $30 billion budget, hurting everyone from the poor and elderly to doctors-in-training at teaching hospitals (Weisman, 7/15).

CQ HealthBeat: Worries Swirl On Potential Cuts to Medical Education, Medicaid
With Medicare and Medicaid on the table in White House debt negotiations, House Democrats and physician groups implored the president and congressional leaders Thursday to avoid harming patient care in public health programs. A letter from more than 60 Democrats to House and Senate leaders said that "rumors abound on possible cuts" and that they are especially worried about the impact on the nation’s teaching hospitals (Norman, 7/14).

Politico Pro: Devil In Details For Home Health, Nursing Cuts
A debt ceiling deal that would cut $50 billion in Medicare funding to home health and skilled nursing may end up shifting that money — and potentially more — to more expensive settings like hospitals, according to home health advocates and some policy analysts. Those cuts, and an additional $53 billion from changing the rules for Medigap coverage, are the two largest hits to Medicare spending in a list of health care cuts that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said were on the table when the debt ceiling negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden broke down (Norman, 7/15). 

Politico: Eric Cantor, PhRMA Fight Drug Discounts In Budget Deal
An on-again, off-again proposal that forces pharmaceutical companies to essentially discount drugs for Medicare's poorest seniors is back on-again — despite fierce opposition from the drug lobby and one of their staunchest defenders, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Dobias, 7/14).

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