“Democrats aren’t worried about providers because they think that hospitals and doctors are making out like bandits under these programs.”
sure Republicans to avoid the automatic trigger, the potential for provider cuts provided little incentive for Democrats to push for a committee agreement.
“Democrats aren’t worried about providers because they think that hospitals and doctors are making out like bandits under these programs,” said Peter Ferrara, a senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at the conservative Heartland Institute. “They are more likely to go to the trigger.”
The possibility that the committee will fail and automatic across-the-board cuts will occur is one of the greatest concerns for the American Hospital Association, said Richard Pollack, executive vice president for advocacy and public policy. “We want real reform, not just provider ratcheting down,” he said. “We’ve already had big cuts through the Affordable Care Act.”
Although providers and their representatives say it is too early to know precisely how they will describe the impact of provider cuts on access to care to the select committee members, Congress and the American public, many plan to urge alternate money-saving approaches.
For instance, some hospital advocates supported accelerating initiatives from the 2010 health reform law that aim to improve quality and lower costs.
In addition, Valadka suggested incorporating some version of the subsidized insurance plan for Medicare proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (RWis.) because it would allow providers to save the system money by varying their charges based on what their patients could afford.
“That would go a long way to make Medicare solvent,” Valadka said, “at least on the provider side.” deficit over 10 years, or if the full Congress fails to pass their plan, then the Budget Control Act would require $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts beginning in 2013. The law splits those cuts between the Defense Department and, generally, Medicare providers and insurers.
Optimists hope the prospect of the automatic cuts will provide incentives for Republicans and Democrats to hammer out a deal. “If the fiscal committee took no action, the deal would automatically add nearly $500 billion in defense cuts on top of cuts already made, and, at the same time, it would cut critical programs like infrastructure or education,” a White House description said. “That outcome would be unacceptable to many Republicans and Democrats alike— creating pressure for a bipartisan agreement without requiring the threat of a default with unthinkable consequences for our economy.”
But some providers and advocates said that although the defense cuts would work to pres-