Advocacy Needed During August Recess to Avoid Cuts and Co-Pays

A so-called Debt Reduction Super Committee evolved out of the federal debt ceiling debate and will be charged with reducing the federal deficit over the next ten years.

Although cuts to entitlement programs and home health co-payments are on the table as options, a potential bright spot was reported this week in that US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is among the members appointed to the Super Committee. Kerry was instrumental in getting cuts to home health reduced as part of health care reform.

Even with the work of Senator Kerry, Medicare home health payments are still taking a $39.7 billion hit over the next ten years. Additionally, CMS is proposing a 5.06% reduction in payments for calendar year 2012. Both of those points need to be raised when this committee considers even deeper cuts that could drastically impact agencies and patients.

Home health co-pays are another option that must be broadly opposed. Seniors could be forced to pay as much as $150 per 60-day episode of home health care, which would only push those who cannot afford it or unwilling to pay into costlier care.

Below are issues and materials that advocates can use to contact the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, not just during August recess, but as the discussion of the Super Committee progresses. There are also materials and advocacy messages that can be used to urge Congressional support of other home care initiatives.

Advocates should be contacting their Congressperson, as well as Senator Kerry, to ask that they in turn urge the Super Committee to oppose home care cuts and copays.

Home Care Co-Pays & Medicare Cuts:

Support Home Health Access Protection Act:

Support Home Health Planning Improvement Act:

See a list of other issues, talking points, and messages available on the HCA Legislative Action Center. You can also compose your own message here.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

 

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