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Providers pleased by House vote to remove Medicare cuts from trade bill

June 18, 2015
by Megan Combs, Associate Editor
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Healthcare leaders are praising the U.S. House of Representatives for removing controversial Medicare cuts from the Trade Adjustment Assistant Act that currently awaits Senate approval. Congress had been considering using Medicare cuts to fund the act.

Specifically, as approved by the Senate in May, the act would apply a 0.25 percent across-the-board cut, also known as sequestration, to Medicare provider and plan payments during the second half of fiscal 2024, when current sequestration authority is scheduled to expire, reports JD Supra Business Advisor. Bipartisan leaders have crafted a new plan to finance the bill after the House rejected it.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement saying it was pleased the sequester was removed.

“Reductions to Medicare reimbursements significantly impact patients and providers and can reduce access to care," the AMA wrote on its website. "Medicare should not be used as a piggybank to fund other programs."

Larry Minnix, president of LeadingAge, echoed the sentiment. 

"Over the last few years, Medicare payments to post-acute care providers have taken a number of hits," Minnix wrote in a press release. "As the large baby boom cohort ages, Medicare will face growing cost pressures. If savings have to be achieved in Medicare, they should be directed back into keeping it financially stable for the population it is intended to serve.