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New Maine Economic Study: Bush Medicare Cuts Undermine State and Local Economic, Jobs Base
Date:6/5/2008

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"The Bush Administration's proposed Medicare cuts not only threaten Maine seniors' access to quality care throughout our state, but will also negatively impact our state and local economy," stated Rick Erb, President and CEO of MHCA. "The Medicare cuts represent a 'lose-lose' proposition because Maine seniors' care needs will be shortchanged and our state economy will be damaged at a time we can least afford it."

The Maine long term care leader said the Medicare regulations being changed by the Bush Administration are currently helping facilities throughout the state successfully serve higher acuity patients -- at a lower cost than other settings. "Considering the fact existing Medicare policy is beneficial to both patients and the taxpayers who finance the program, it is especially curious this regulatory policy change is being pursued by the President's health care team," Erb stated. Current policy, he added, saved Medicare $709 million in 2006 alone nationally, according to an independent analysis by Avalere Health, LLC.

"It is our intent to ensure during our visits on Capitol Hill that the Maine congressional delegation is well informed about the significant damage the Administration's Medicare changes will incur both to Maine's long-term care residents, and to our state and local economies," Erb continued.

Susan Feeney, Vice-President of Public Affairs for AHCA, said rural communities in states like Maine have higher than average numbers of elderly citizens, and noted that beyond serving the growing complex care needs of elderly seniors, rural facilities are a major local employer, and a significant part of the local economy. "Front line caregivers throughout Maine, and across America, make a key difference in patient care -
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SOURCE Maine Health Care Association (MHCA)
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