Obama puts Dems on guard
Some senators wary of healthcare cuts
Provider groups are not alone in criticizing the healthcare savings included in President Barack Obama’s deficit-reduction plan offered last week. Other critics include leading Senate Democrats, whom the president will need to advance his approach.
Obama’s proposed $320 billion in 10-year cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are part of his larger proposal to the congressional deficitreduction supercommittee to reduce the federal government’s future deficits by more than $3 trillion. That panel is charged with cutting at least $1.2 trillion in future deficits over the coming decade.
The healthcare components of the Obama plan derive much of their savings from cuts to providers, drug companies and state Medicaid programs, with smaller future savings squeezed directly from beneficiaries.
Predictably, most provider groups staunchly opposed the cuts. But the White House may not have anticipated that some of its leading Capitol Hill defenders would join them.
“I’m wary about some of the cuts where we save are from providers, particularly home healthcare and the prevention of institutionalization,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of two powerful congressional healthcare panels, told Modern Healthcare.
Mikulski’s concerns stemmed from one of the biggest provider savings targets in Obama’s proposal: post-acute facilities. His plan would cut $42 billion from long-term acute-care hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and home health providers. Her criticism echoed that of provider advocates, who are worried about the cumulative impact of new spending reductions on top of statutory and regulatory cuts from the Patient Protection and Affordable
Obama is seeking $320 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in his deficitreduction package