Health lobbies vie for supercommittee stalemate

The Congressional "supercommittee" charged with reducing the nation's deficit is being strongly lobbied by healthcare groups of all stripes to moderate proposed cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, reports Reuters. The ultimate goal: Get the panel to do nothing at all.

Cancer survivors and religious groups are joining the ranks of more traditional lobbies--such as the AARP and physician groups--to implore the panel to cut as little as possible from federal healthcare spending.

"It's going to be bloody warfare to get another $1 billion, $2 billion, $3 billion out of us, out of other physicians, out of the hospitals," Cindy Moran, a lobbyist for the American College of Radiology, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, a coalition of more than 340 groups that calls itself the National Medicaid Coalition intended to press lawmakers by phone just before various Congressional panels are required to submit deficit-cutting suggestions to the supercommittee on Oct. 14.

Ultimately, the group would like to see the panel deadlock on cuts. That would lead to automatic reductions that would moderately affect Medicare and leave Medicaid untouched.

For more:
- read the Reuters article
- read the New York Times article