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U.S. Representatives Gohmert, Granger, E.B. Johnson Praised by THCA for Helping Lead House Effort to Stop $45.6 Million Texas Medicare Cuts
Date:8/4/2008

Because SNFs rely on Medicare to make up for chronic underfunding by the Medicaid program - an average of $13 per day for every Medicaid beneficiary in nursing homes nationwide - it is critically important that Medicare reimbursement remain fair and consistent. We believe that if the Administration were to finalize its proposed rule, the ability of providers to care for our nation's most vulnerable population - the frail elderly and disabled - would be severely threatened."

Said Graves, "From a health policy standpoint, the cancellation of the Medicare regulation last week is an outstanding development in terms of both meeting seniors' changing health care needs and doing so in a manner that uses Medicare funds efficiently. Reps. Gohmert, Granger and Johnson deserve enormous credit for working in an intelligent, bipartisan manner to help achieve a result highly beneficial to every Texas Medicare beneficiary."

The unfortunate irony of these Medicare cuts, the THCA leader observed, is that on one hand, long term care providers are working vigorously and successfully to improve facility care. On the other hand, government payment policy at the federal and state levels as they relate to Medicare and Medicaid, undermines our collective policy objective - which is to improve quality standards in the face of a growing demographic wave of retirees with substantially more complex care issues.

"Thankfully, with the help of these three key Texas House Members, the damaging federal Medicare regulation was derailed," Graves concluded. "Now we intend to resume our focus on rectifying Texas' status as 49th nationally in terms of funding our most vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries' growing care needs. Our oldest citizens, many of whom have no other recourse, need and deserve continued access to quality nursing home care, and improving the adequacy of state Medicaid funding will largely determine whether or not we achieve this important public policy objective."
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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