Business Journal: Proposed Cuts To Medicare

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 11, 2008
The Bush administration’s proposed budget could suck $510 million out of Medicare funding for Sacramento hospitals over the next five years. For next year alone, the local hit would be almost $48 million. The goal of the changes is to save $178 billion nationwide from the government health care program for seniors and the disabled. Some say the reduction would help reduce the federal deficit. But the region will feel the pinch. In the four-county area, Medicare serves more than 265,000 seniors. Hospitals stand to lose, but so do doctors. They face the possibility of a 10 percent pay cut for treating Medicare patients starting July 1. The budget is not a done deal. Congress still has its say in the recommendations. For now, though, patient advocates are watching carefully.