Hospitals need to oppose the Republican debt-reduction plan proposed last week because it would endanger the “grand bargain” they struck with the Obama administration leading up to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a Democratic senator.
Lawmakers differ on GOP plan at AHA event
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a member of the powerful Finance Committee, told hospital executives at the annual Washington meeting of the American Hospital Association that they should oppose the plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) because it would jettison the law but retain the $155 billion in Medicare cuts that hospitals voluntarily accepted before its enactment. Those cuts were proposed in exchange for the law reducing hospitals' costs for uncompensated care, according to media reports at the time.
“America's hospitals took cuts in the healthcare bill that were difficult, phased-in cuts, but it was based on the idea that over time uncompensated care would come down, and we've got to make sure that happens so that you're not left holding the bag,” Stabenow said.
Republicans speaking at the event defended the Ryan plan and urged hospital leaders to do the same.
“We all talk about Medicare reform, and now is the time to do it in order to avoid a financial train wreck,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D).
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