We urge you NOT TO SUPPORT any additional cuts to Medicare as the February 29, 2012 deadline approaches.
Although we support the elimination of the 27.4% proposed Medicare cuts to physicians, it should not be done at the expense of hospitals that provide billions of dollars in Medicare, Medicaid and charity care services to millions of Americans in need of health care services. In addition, these cuts would eliminate over 83,000 jobs nationally in the health care field at a time our economy needs to increase jobs and not eliminate them.
Hospitals have already agreed to $155 billion in cuts over the next 10 years resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We also face reductions on January 1, 2013 from sequestration due to no agreement by the super committee. Additionally, CMS inappropriately cut $16.8 billion from changes in coding and documentation. We also have absorbed significant Medicaid reductions over the past 18 months.
There are many options to offset these cuts as listed below:
• Modernizing cost sharing for Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE
• Increasing the eligibility age for Medicare to 67
• Increasing the FICA tax to support Medicare Part A spending
• Improving programs to improve care at the end of life
• Increasing use of generic drugs and biologicals
• Medical liability reform
• Taxing Cadillac health plans
• Taxing junk food and sugary drinks
We applaud your efforts to balance our federal budget, but please do not do so at the expense of our hospitals that have already contributed our fair share and want to work collaboratively to be part of the budget deficit solution.