An article featured in today’s Illinois-based newspaper, The State Journal Register, reported that “Tuesday’s debt-reduction package might cause more cuts in Medicare and Medicaid funding; should this occur, poor and elderly residents could find obtaining patient care to be quite challenging.”
The story, “Hospitals, physicians worried about debt-reduction deal,” explained that whether or not cuts are carried out all depends upon a future decision to be made by a committee which consists of 12 federal lawmakers.
“Illinois hospitals already have begun to absorb a total of $8 billion in Medicare cuts that will be implemented over the next 10 years to help pay for the federal Affordable Care Act,” said Danny Chun, spokesman for the Illinois Hospital Association. “We don’t want any more cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.”
Medicare covers physician service fees for more than 1.5 million people living in the state of Illinois, alone; cuts could cause physicians to set a maximum number, in terms of how many Medicare and Medicaid members they’d be willing to serve as patients.
Physicians haven’t experienced significant Medicare increases in more than a decade. Uninsured patients are expected to spawn a reduction that would, in time, balance out cuts. However, patient care patient-care facilities, especially hospitals, fear how they will fare during the transitional period.
“We’re extremely worried about how this process moves forward over the next few months,” Chun said. “How do we keep the healthcare system stable in the short-term?”