With the looming sequester hatchet ready to fall tomorrow, Medicare providers are among those that will take a two and a half percent reduction from the government.
Under normal circumstances, you’d be hearing a big fuss from the industry. Why are they so silent?
There are two reasons. First, the Obama Administration already announced its 2014 cuts to hospitals, doctors and private insurers for the Medicare Advantage program. The cuts amounted to a two percent reduction across the board.
Second, and more importantly, the budget cuts would likely be much worse if President Obama and Congress actually came to agreement on an overall deal to cut the federal deficit. That’s because the automatic cuts taking effect tomorrow only reduce Medicare spending by $100 billion or so over the next ten years.
A federal deficit reduction deal would likely cut the program to the bone. Obama put $400 billion in health care cuts on the table prior to the election, mainly from Medicare. The Republicans wanted even more. Remember the voucher plan?
What the Medicare industry is concerned about is a massive deficit deal that would hit the Medicare program for as much as $500 billion by reducing payments to providers and increasing Medicare premiums and co-payments.
The sequester cuts are a good deal for Medicare providers. Hear their silence.