Providers face cuts under new budget proposal

While President Bush's proposed 2009 budget adds money to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it also proposes to cut funding by a substantial amount over the next five years, raising protests from providers. The current budget proposal for fiscal 2009 includes $425 billion for Medicare, a $29 billion increase from 2008, and $217 billion for Medicaid, a boost of $13.7 billion from 2008. However, the proposal would take away what it gives over time. It includes legislative and administrative steps to cut Medicare by $183 billion and Medicaid by $17 billion over the next five years, cuts which would fall hard on hospitals and other providers. For example, the Medicare proposal would cut inpatient hospital payments by almost $4 billion in fiscal '09, and $64 billion over five years. This, of course, is going to generate violent resistance from hospital groups, who aren't known for taking this kind of thing lying down. Good luck getting this one through, Mr. President.

To learn more about the cuts:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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