A proposed Senate bill to limit federal spending could reduce funding to the nation's hospitals by more than $700 billion from 2013 to 2021, according to calculations in a report commissioned for AARP and four healthcare associations (PDF).
Senate bill would hit healthcare: report
Introduced in February by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the bill—the Commitment to American Prosperity Act—aims to lower mandatory and discretionary spending combined to 20.6% of gross domestic product from the current level of 24.7% over 10 years. AARP, the American College of Cardiology, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and Leading Age commissioned the Lewin Group to analyze the effect of this legislation on families, employers and healthcare providers.
AHA President and CEO Richard Umbdenstock said the report was distributed to AHA members and throughout Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. As he explained, the “ripple effects” of the cuts would be felt throughout the community—namely to suppliers, on whom hospitals spend one-third of their costs.
According to the report, about 1.3 million healthcare workers could lose their jobs as a result of this bill, which is one of several proposals to address the nation's growing deficit.
“In general, every hospital tries to touch direct care last,” Umbdenstock said when asked which workers would be affected the most. But because the majority of hospital costs is spent on personnel, Umbdenstock added, “I wouldn't say anything is off the table.”
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