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New Letter to Rangel, Waxman, Miller from National Seniors Coalition Outlines Concerns With House Tri-Committee Health Reform Bill
Date:7/8/2009

use legislation will cut Medicare nursing home funding by $44.9 billion over ten years.

Continues the letter: "Compounding the impact of health care reform cuts is the proposed rule that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to finalize by August 1, which will cut $16 billion in Medicare funding over 10 years. The interactive effects of the Tri-Committee draft and CMS' proposed regulation would effectively drop Medicare payments by as much as $53 billion over ten years, an average loss of more than two years' worth of Medicare revenue for every nursing home in America. We worry that Medicare funding cuts in the proposed rule could turn back the clock on the quality improvements that we have worked so hard to achieve."

Cantrell said it is highly noteworthy that there is widespread, bi-partisan support for rescinding the proposed CMS rule as evidenced by effort led by U.S. Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) -- which garnered 122 signatures from U.S. House members who wrote to Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging the Administration to reject the proposed Medicare regulation. "We are asking you to keep what is best for patients and caregivers in mind and to consider together the impact of legislative reform policies and regulatory policies that could have serious, albeit unintended negative consequences," Cantrell continued.

The CPSC spokeswoman also said a key underlying reality surrounding the funding debate is the fact that seventy percent of nursing home costs are labor related, and Medicare cuts of the magnitude proposed would risk 50,000 nursing home-specific jobs in 2010 alone, according to a recent analysis by the American Health Care Association (AHCA). "Since women fill 95 percent of long term care jobs and minorities comprise 30 percent of our workforce, the proposed cuts would heavily affect minor
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SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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