President Obama’s final budget proposal is out and there is a heavy emphasis on health and health care. From boosting funds to prevent prescription drug abuse and protect against domestic and global health threats, to providing money for mental health care and the cancer “moonshot” initiative – there is a lot to like in the budget.
However, we do have concerns about the President’s plan to pay for these proposals, which includes billions of dollars in medicare cuts to hospitals. Below is the response from the American Hospital Association:
“The significant cuts proposed in today’s budget would jeopardize hospitals’ ability to keep the promise of maintaining access to vital health care services,” Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development, said in a statement. These reductions are ill-advised at a time when Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the costs of caring for patients.”
Becker’s Hospital Review quoted Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Charles “Chip” Kahn as saying the budget proposal “misses the mark.” He said the budget lifts the Medicare sequestration “but nullifies any benefit by replacing it with warmed over cuts that would threaten patient access to hospital care for low income Americans and seniors.”
While we certainly applaud some of the President’s proposals, such as the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), we do not believe the massive medicare cuts to hospitals are the way to get there.
We want to hear what you think. Do you like the health care proposals? What are your thoughts on the medicare cuts to hospitals? We believe it is important to move these types of conversations forward. Communication is key, not only for these types of hot-button issues, but also as we look ahead to our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!