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AHCA: Rescinding $2.7 Billion Medicare Cuts Top Issue for Fall Legislative Agenda

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the U.S. Congress resumes legislative business this week, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) today said its top issue on the fall agenda is ensuring $2.7 billion, five-year cuts to Medicare contained within the House of Representatives' Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP Act) are soundly rejected as part of any final Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) financing package, and predicted policymakers who continue to support deep Medicare cuts risk further angering and alienating their most vulnerable constituents.

"We are pleased the aggressive legislative advocacy we pursued over the August recess has resulted in Members of Congress becoming far more aware of the fact that five-year, $2.7 billion Medicare cuts would have a disastrous impact on seniors' nursing home care, and completely undermine the quality improvement initiatives we have worked to successfully institute in conjunction with Congress and the Administration," stated David Hebert, AHCA's Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs. "As Conferees will eventually begin resolving how CHIP expansion is financed, we are confident lawmakers have a better understanding of the stakes involved if Medicare is cut in the manner proposed, and how deep cuts negatively impacting lawmakers' most vulnerable constituents would have highly negative ramifications in the year ahead."

Over the August recess, AHCA and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care mounted an aggressive 13 state, 22 congressional district TV and print campaign warning the proposed five-year, $2.7 billion Medicare cuts will jeopardize ongoing quality improvements in America's nursing homes, threaten thousands of local health care jobs, and irrationally return Medicare funding levels to those seen almost a decade ago.

"The August recess advertising effort generated a substantial amount of feedback from lawmakers and the public alike, and the consequences of the proposed cuts are now part of the public discussion," continued Hebert. "AHCA looks forward to further discussing with Members of Congress how we can resolve this matter in a way that both expands CHIP, as we all seek to accomplish -- but do so in a manner that ensures seniors in their 70's, 80's and 90's do not have to continue worrying that Congress will cut the Medicare funding they absolutely depend upon and deserve."

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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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