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Hospitals to Senate: Medicare not a piggybank for other programs

January 13, 2014

The AHA and seven other national hospital organizations today urged senators to strongly oppose a proposal to cut funding for seniors’ Medicare to pay for extended unemployment benefits. “While we do not oppose the extension of these benefits, we do oppose using Medicare reductions to pay for non-Medicare related spending,” the groups wrote. “Medicare has been cut time and time again – most recently under the budget agreement signed into law just weeks ago. Medicare is meant to assure seniors access to needed medical care, not serve as a piggybank for other programs. It is bad policy to further extend Medicare sequester cuts that could undermine care for seniors. Hospitals already face $113 billion in cuts that have been imposed over the last three years at a time of enormous change and challenges. We urge you to reject this proposal, which will jeopardize health services for seniors.” The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care is running ads with a similar message online in The Hill and Washington Post. AHA is a founding member of the coalition, a broad-based group of hospitals, businesses and national, state and local hospital associations.