Congress returns today and begins efforts to negotiate a budget deal that would avert the "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax increases, which are slated to take effect early next year.
Politico Pro: AHA To Hill: No Cuts Worse Than The Sequester
The hospital industry is worried it's going to be called upon again to withstand funding cuts as lawmakers try to prevent this winter's sequestration and the planned cut to physician payments. In an interview with POLITICO, top officials at the American Hospital Association say they're concerned that the decisions being made today aren't based on what's best for health care, but rather what's going to generate the most revenue savings (Haberkorn, 11/12).
The Hill: Nursing Homes To Congress: Stop Looming Medicare Cuts
Nursing homes are welcoming Congress back with a campaign against the sequester's looming cuts to Medicare. The American Health Care Association (AHCA) will run ads against the cuts in Beltway publications and on major cable networks starting Monday. ... "The end of the year marks the end of the line for sequestration. Something must be done to address these deep cuts to Medicare," said Mark Parkinson, AHCA president and CEO, in a statement. The AHCA represents nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities, which rely heavily on Medicare and Medicaid (Viebeck, 11/12).
The Hill: Budget-Cutters Eye Health Care Law's Insurance Subsidies
As the election fades into the rearview mirror and attention turns more seriously toward the looming "fiscal cliff," lobbyists and advocates are once again wondering whether Congress might look to the healthcare law for spending cuts. Specifically, lawmakers might be tempted to tap the health law's insurance subsidies, by far its most expensive provision, and probably the most tangible benefit it will provide. Cutting into the subsidies has been discussed before, but it's gaining new urgency as the fiscal cliff, a combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect at the end of the year, draws closer (Baker, 11/12).