ME, National Eldercare Advocates to Hold Media Teleconference Thu 6/5 to Discuss New Study Finding Bush Medicare Cuts Damage Rur

WHAT: Washington, D.C. - Maine eldercare advocates on Capitol Hill to visit their state congressional delegation and their Washington, D.C. counterparts will hold a Thursday, June 5 1:30 pm EDT media teleconference to release and discuss a new state-specific analysis finding the Bush Administration's proposed $770 million Medicare Part A nursing home funding cuts will not only cost Maine seniors $1.5 million in key health benefits next year, but cause the state to lose $8.5 million in total economic activity, $4 million in lost wages, and 138 jobs in the year ahead.

The Bush Administration's Medicare cuts, which are driven by regulatory changes to the Medicare program, are scheduled to go into effect automatically this summer unless rescinded by the White House. The study to be released has been prepared by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), and is the first of its kind released by the long term care profession.

"The Bush Administration's proposed Medicare cuts not only threaten Maine seniors' access to quality care throughout our state, but will also negatively impact our state's economy and local employment base," stated Rick Erb, President and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association. "The Medicare cuts represent a 'lose-lose' proposition because seniors' care needs will be shortchanged and our state economy and jobs base will be damaged. Those of us at the state and federal levels charged with caring for elderly Medicare beneficiaries are highly alarmed by these Medicare cuts, and we will elaborate on this developing health care policy crisis."

WHO: Susan Feeney, Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which completed the Maine economic impact analysis, and is advocating at the federal level for the Medicare cuts to be rescinded.

Rick Erb, President and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association, will discuss the state-specific impact of the Bush Medicare cuts in regard to seniors' care in rural communities, the state and local economy, and jobs.

Wanda Pelkey, CFO for First Atlantic Health care which serves seniors in many rural communities across Maine. Ms. Pekley will speak to the unique hardships faced by rural skilled nursing facilities that often contribute significantly to the local jobs base.

WHEN: Thursday, JUNE 5, 2008 - 1:30 PM EDT **To participate in the teleconference, please dial (800) 230-1092 and ask for Medicare Cuts to Rural Maine Nursing Facilities briefing. To RSVP, please contact Rebecca Reid at 410-267-1128 or [email protected]

CONTACT: Rebecca Reid, +1-410-267-1128, [email protected], for American Health Care Association.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire - June 4/

SOURCE American Health Care Association