Even as the compromise raced for final approval, more provider advocates and patient advocacy groups raised concerns that the bill's savings mechanisms would likely target Medicare reimbursements.
“It is time for government to pay fairly for the care provided or rethink the magnitude of its promises to our seniors,” Daniel Sisto, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State (PDF), said in a written statement.
Some groups began to turn their attention to the bipartisan congressional debt reduction panel that the deal would create and to urge its eventual members to pursue increased taxes instead of provider cuts.
“In order to offset the need for deep cuts to these programs, any bipartisan committee proposal must raise revenues by eliminating tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations,” Joe Baker, president of the liberal Medicare Rights Center, said in a news release.
In another wrinkle, some physician advocates warned about the complicated timing of the work of the deficit reduction panel, which will have to offer $1.5 trillion in cuts by Nov. 23 and secure congressional passage by Dec. 23. That is the same time frame in which Congress will need to find billions of dollars to pay for another delay of the 29.5% cut in Medicare physician reimbursements scheduled for the beginning of 2012.