Hospital groups appeared unfazed by a report prepared by CMS actuaries on the financial impact of the House health reform bill, which painted a bleak future for Medicare.
Hospital groups unfazed by CMS report
The report, requested by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee and prepared by CMS actuaries, concluded that the bill's $500 billion cut to Medicare could make it difficult for doctors and other health providers “to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program.”
Not necessarily so, according to the Federation of American Hospitals. “Hospitals will stand by seniors no matter what, and will continue to provide essential services to seniors and members of the community who need care,” Richard Coorsh, spokesman for the FAH, said in an e-mail.
The report also needs to be looked at in context, as it “only looks at part of the equation—the reduction in spending in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid without examining the coverage expansions and the benefits the various bills would generate,” said Alicia Mitchell, spokeswoman for the American Hospital Association.
The legislation, approved by the House on Nov. 7, aims to cover 36 million more Americans and ultimately ensure that 96% of the population has coverage. However, the CMS report cautioned that “consideration should be given to the potential consequences of a significant increase in demand for healthcare meeting a relatively fixed supply of healthcare providers and services,” resulting in people waiting in long lines for care.
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