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Bush Budget Represents 'Double Whammy' Hit on U.S. Seniors' Medicare-Financed Nursing Facility Care

FY 2009 Budget Blueprint 'Most Unreasonable, Most Unrealistic' of Entire White House Tenure

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reacting to the formal unveiling of the Bush Administration's FY 2009 budget plan, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) said the proposal is unreasonable from the standpoint of seniors' Medicare-financed nursing facility care, and unrealistic in the face of worsening economic conditions in states across the nation -- which will surely squeeze state Medicaid budgets.

"Unfortunately, we believe that from the standpoint of protecting the care needs of our oldest, most vulnerable nursing home residents, this budget is the most unreasonable and unrealistic of President Bush's entire tenure in the White House," stated Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "Through both the elimination of patients' badly-needed Medicare market basket update and through what amounts to a back-door attempt to cut Medicare funding through regulation, the President's budget represents a double-whammy hit on the funding vital to ensure the continued provision of quality care."

Yarwood said the attempt to cut Medicare through regulation is simply an attempt to circumvent necessary congressional review and oversight, and that AHCA will wage an aggressive effort on Capitol Hill to ensure facilities have the ability to optimize patient care in the face of growing demand, and to ensure they have the well-trained staff needed to do so.

"Along with providers, the federal government has a great share of the responsibility to ensure the provision of quality care, and we urge members of Congress to recognize that without fair and appropriate Medicare and Medicaid payments, they are jeopardizing the health care needs of our nation's most frail, vulnerable and disabled citizens," Yarwood added. "We predict this budget will be poorly received by Congress, consumers and the public at large -- and we look forward to working with lawmakers of both parties to ensure its short-sighted proposals are defeated. We will provide additional commentary as we further analyze the proposal in its entirety."

SOURCE American Health Care Association
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