Medicaid cuts will hurt most-vulnerable
Access to care for all hospital patients jeopardized by President's
proposed budget cuts
7 February 2005
HARRISBURG, Pa, USA. Responding to the President's 2005-2006 budget plan,
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) today said
that the proposed $60 billion in Medicaid reductions over ten years shifts
the burden of deficit reduction to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable citizens.
"These cuts could threaten the integrity of this essential safety net
health care program for senior citizens, children, people with disabilities,
and low-income families," said HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan.
"While the Bush administration's focus on increasing insurance coverage for
the poor is laudable, cutting reimbursements to hospitals will have the
unintended consequence of limiting access to health care - for all
Scanlan also expressed concern about cuts to children's graduate medical
education, rural health care programs, and bioterrorism preparedness.
Scanlan praised the President for his $125 million funding proposal for
health information technology initiatives, but urged consideration of higher
funding to reflect the critical importance of the issue to patient safety
and quality. Scanlan serves on the board of the National Alliance for Health
"While the President has not targeted Medicare for reductions, his shift
of the cuts to Medicaid will have the same impact on our hospitals and
patients," Scanlan said. "This is not sound health care policy, and
hospitals will use the upcoming budget debate to advocate for a strategy
that preserves patient access to care - and the financial stability of
hospitals - over the long term."
Medicaid reimbursements to Pennsylvania hospitals are substantially lower
than the actual costs of care provided - approximately 75 percent of
inpatient costs and 50 percent or less of outpatient costs.
"Coupled with expected drastic Medicaid cuts in the upcoming Pennsylvania
budget proposal, the reduced payments from Washington are particularly
onerous," Scanlan said.
HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for
nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute
care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the
patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is
available online at
Source: The Hospital & Healthsystem
Association of Pennsylvania
CONTACT: Roger H. Baumgarten, Director, Media Relations, The Hospital &
Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, +1-717-561-5342, Cell:
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