Tell Congress to Oppose Medicare Home Health Copays & Payment Cuts!

As most of you know by now, the new Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the “supercommittee”) is charged with coming up with a proposal by Nov. 23 to achieve between $1.2 and 1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.

If the bipartisan, 12-member supercommittee, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, is able to report out by majority vote a proposal to achieve this goal, Congress must then vote up or down on the proposal by Dec. 23.

If the supercommittee fails to report out a proposal or the supercommittee proposal fails to get enacted, most government programs would face an across the board cut to achieve $1.2 trillion in savings. The Medicare cuts would be limited to 2% to Medicare provider payments (no Medicare beneficiary cuts). Medicaid, veterans, and some other selected government programs would be exempt.

Because the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, MedPAC and the Congressional Budget Office have suggested home health cuts and copays, we know these proposals are on the table for consideration by the supercommittee. These proposals have also surfaced in lists that have circulated on Capitol Hill of potential Medicare cuts. Proposals to accelerate the rebasing of home health rates and cut or eliminate home health inflation updates have also surfaced.

The President is scheduled to come out with his proposed entitlement reforms, which could include Medicare and Medicaid cuts, by next Monday, Sept. 19. The congressional authorizing committees with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid (Senate Finance, House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce) have until Oct. 14 to submit their deficit reduction recommendations to the supercommittee.

We must do everything we can to stop home health cuts and copays from being included in whatever package is assembled by the supercommittee.

While none of the members of the supercommittee are from Florida, four members of Congress from our state sit on authorizing committees:

It is critical that Sen. Nelson hear from the home care industry throughout this process, and even if you are not in an area with any of these three representatives, it still makes a difference to contact their colleagues around the state to express our concerns!

Click here to send a message to both senators and your representative in opposition to Medicare home health copays and further cuts

This effort will continue through the fall, so it is important that members of Congress hear from the home care community early and often, including by email and phone. When calling a member’s office, ask to speak to his/her Medicare staff person and voice your opposition for copays and cuts.

Please encourage your colleagues, friends and patients to send emails to Congress!

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