The American Hospital Association moved on Friday to position the industry as an economic engine after the president singled out Medicare as a source of savings to pay for proposed job relief. The trade group published a consulting firm report (PDF) it commissioned that predicts up to 194,000 job losses through 2021 should Medicare hospital pay decline by 2%.
Medicare cuts would threaten jobs, AHA warns
The Medicare cut is one option facing Congress to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion before the year end, as required under a debt deal reached in late July. President Barack Obama, in a speech Thursday before a joint session of Congress, said the $447 billion cost of his job legislation could added to the $1.5 trillion. He called Medicare spending as unsustainable. “We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it,” the president said. In a news release announcing the hospital association’s report, Richard Umbdenstock warned “the impact of cuts to hospital care would have ripple effects throughout our nation’s economy.”
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