Mandatory cuts: Winners and losers in the post-super committee landscape

Many domestic programs will feel pain, but Medicaid appears to be part of the "protected" class. Meanwhile, news outlets continue to report on the pending Medicare physician pay cut and how fixing this scheduled reduction could trigger cuts in other parts of the health care sector.

Politico: Mandatory Budget Cuts After Super Committee Failure Will Trigger Pain For Some
By any name, they mean pain, both for the Pentagon and for the weaklings among domestic programs. But there are winners, too: A protected class of individuals and programs -; including congressional pensions -; won't bear any burden. The writers of the August debt-limit deal ensured that the deficit wouldn't be closed with automatic cuts to Social Security or Medicaid, tax hikes or even changes to their own pensions or death benefits (Allen, 11/28).

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog: Back On The 'Doc Fix' Watch As Medicare Cuts Loom
It seems like just yesterday that Congress passed a one-year fix for Medicare reimbursement cuts. Unfortunately, time has flown, and we find ourselves back on the "doc fix" watch -; though this year, there's a 24.7 percent cut looming (Hobson, 11/28).

CQ HealthBeat: Nursing Facility Cuts Are Possible Again, Despite Dire Industry Warnings
Really? Gulp. The big sign that greets subway riders exiting Washington's Union Station is enough to stop any baby boomer in his tracks and make him wonder anxiously if it could be true. "Today you're an accountant," it says. "Tomorrow you're dad's nurse. Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare will impact 78 percent of post-acute and nursing home care patients. Support CareNotCuts.org. What's your alternative?" The question of how government spending cuts will affect nursing facility care is one that lawmakers will have to confront, too, as they return from their Thanksgiving break. They may have avoided a difficult vote on Medicare and Medicaid cuts because the joint deficit panel did not reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. But now that lawmakers are back, they must find tens of billions of dollars in payment offsets for "doc fix" legislation to head off a 27 percent Medicare payment cut to doctors set to start Jan. 1. And Medicare payments to nursing facilities are among those that influential analysts are offering up for possible cuts (Reichard, 11/28).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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