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State, National Long Term Care Community Applauds Arkansas Leaders in U.S. Senate and U.S. House for Helping Lead Effort to Block $770 Million Bush Medicare Cuts
Date:7/2/2008

Bipartisan Efforts Oppose $6.5 Million Funding Cut to State's Medicare Beneficiaries

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arkansas Health Care Association and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) today praised Senators Blanche Lincoln (D) and Mark Pryor (D) and Representatives Marion Berry (D-1st), Vic Snyder (D-2nd), John Boozman (R-3rd) and Mike Ross (D-4th) for helping lead efforts in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the Bush Administration from moving forward with regulatory-driven cuts to seniors' Medicare Part A nursing home funding -- cuts that will result in Arkansas' seniors losing $6.5 million in the year ahead.

Specifically, Sens. Lincoln and Pryor and Reps. Berry, Snyder, Boozman and Ross joined Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) and U.S. Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in a letter issued to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt. The letter expresses their "deep concern" that high-quality skilled nursing care for America's seniors will be threatened if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) moves forward with an administrative proposal -- in the coming weeks -- that would cut $770 million in Medicare funding for skilled nursing facility (SNF) care in 2009 and more than $4 billion over the next five years.

"It is highly significant that our state's leaders in Washington have joined the efforts in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House to speak out and oppose the Bush Administration's damaging Medicare funding reductions, and on behalf of Arkansas' Medicare beneficiaries and the providers who care for them, we thank them for doing so," said Randy Wyatt, Executive Vice President of the Arkansas Health Care Association. "These policymakers have objectively evaluated how these cuts will hurt Arkansas' Medicare beneficiaries, and are acting upon that determination to protect their elderly constituents."

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SOURCE Arkansas Health Care Association
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