government

House bill would exempt Medicare from deficit cuts

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 12, 2011

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Members of Congress are working to delay or eliminate future automatic cuts to the Medicare program.

Legislation that raised the debt ceiling in August required budget deficits to be reduced by at least $1.2 trillion during the next 10 years. About $123 billion will be cut automatically from the Medicare program beginning in 2013.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D, N.Y.) has introduced legislation exempting Medicare from the automatic cut process, known as sequestration. The Medicare cuts would impede patient access to health services, he said. In New York state, 700,000 health care workers and hospitals stand to lose $2.6 billion.

"We simply cannot balance the nation's budget on the backs of seniors while simultaneously harming jobs," Towns said.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/12/12/gvbf1212.htm.

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