Hospital Executives Worry Fiscal Talks Will Further Cut Medicare

Hospital executives fear further Medicare cuts recently proposed by President Barack Obama in budget negotiations will negatively impact their bottom lines and the Medicare beneficiaries they serve, according to a New York Times report.

As lawmakers scurry to craft a deal before broad spending cuts and tax hikes take effect at the end of the year, many discussions are finding agreement that Medicare savings should come from large-scale providers, according to the report.

After House Speaker John Boehner agreed this week to raising taxes on the very wealthy, President Obama proposed $300 billion in Medicare cuts over 10 years, although Republicans want as much as double that amount in savings, according to the report.

Various hospital officials told the Times although Medicare is growing too rapidly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already cut $155 billion from them over 10 years. Advocates of the proposal defended the cuts saying much could come from eliminating wasteful spending.

Rural and urban teaching hospitals could be in danger of losing already-shrinking special federal funding, according to the report.

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