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AHCA/Alliance: New Medicare Regulation Will Hurt Seniors, Cost Jobs, Perpetuate Inefficiency
Date:5/1/2009

Turning Back Clock to Implement Bush Administration Proposal at Odds With Intent of Economic Stimulus, Broader Health Reform Goals

WASHINGTON, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reaching back in time to propose implementing a Medicare regulation first proposed by the Bush Administration to cut seniors' Medicare funding by $1.05 billion in FY 2010 (estimated to be $5.6 billion over five years) is completely at odds with the intent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in terms of creating jobs and spurring economic growth, and will hinder ongoing efforts to modernize Medicare for the benefit of seniors and taxpayers, according to two national long term care leaders.

Last summer, forty Democratic and Republican Senators joined together to actively oppose the rule, and noted in one letter to the Administration that the proposed cuts "will jeopardize the significant quality improvements made by the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) community in recent years as well as the ability of SNFs to continue caring for high-acuity patients. Because SNFs rely on Medicare to make up for chronic underfunding by the Medicaid program. We believe that if CMS were to finalize its proposed rule, the ability of providers to care for our nation's most vulnerable population - the frail elderly and disabled - would be severely threatened."

Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), said, "Implementing this old Bush Administration Medicare regulation will undermine seniors' future access to quality care in the setting of their choice, sidetrack our sector's ongoing ability to create good-paying health jobs, and place at risk the delivery system reforms now successfully underway to make this vital program more efficient for patients and more accountable to taxpayers. With Congress and the Obama Administration so effectively focused on job creation in th
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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