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As Congress Begins Debate on Bush Budget, Front-Line Caregivers Urge Rejection of Medicare Cuts
Date:3/4/2008

Coalition to Protect Senior Care Praises Sens. Johnson, Collins and Reps. Berkley, Capito for Leading Bipartisan Capitol Hill Effort to Derail Proposed Five-Year, $24 Billion Medicare Cuts

JOPLIN, Mo., March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Congress scheduled to begin hearings this week on the Bush Administration's FY 2009 budget, a coalition of front-line caregiver organizations is urging federal lawmakers to oppose an effort to cut Medicare-financed nursing home care by $24 billion over five years, and warned the proposed reductions would strike directly at the ability of staff to continue meeting the complex care needs of elderly patients, and making the investment in the staff and technology necessary to sustain intra-facility quality improvement programs.

"The budget battle in Washington is being closely monitored by our state-based caregiver organizations because the Medicare resources vital to so many extremely vulnerable patients and the front-line caregivers who serve them are definitely on the line," said Lisa Cantrell, a co-founder of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, and a national spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Senior Care. "While the cost of providing quality care continues to rise - especially in regard to recruiting, training and retaining the key staff that make a difference in care quality and patient outcomes - the federal government should not further undermine facility capacity and patient care itself with unwise spending decisions."

Cantrell praised U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), for leading a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill to strike down the Bush Administration's Medicare cuts, and said it is essential for more members of Congress to support their efforts as the budget battle begins.

In a new letter, U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are urging Senate B
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SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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