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Senators Coburn and McCaskill Introduce Hospital Legislation

The following announcement was sent by the office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) in relation to a new bill that would sunset a controversial section of the Affordable Care Act that increased payments to hospitals in Massachusetts while decreasing payments to facilities in other states.   I wanted to let you know that today U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) will be introducing a bill that would sunset Section 3141 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  As you know, the provision adjusted the calculation of a hospital wage index used to make payments under the Medicare program. Unfortunately, the provision has the net effect of reducing Medicare reimbursements for hospitals in every state, while increasing Medicare’s reimbursements to hospitals in Massachusetts.  Sens. Coburn and McCaskill’s bill would eliminate this gimmick by sunsetting the provision, ending the favoring one hospitals in state at the expense of all the other states’ hospitals.  As you know, the National Rural Health Association and more than a dozen state hospital associations recently wrote President Obama about the “adverse impact” Section 3141 of PPACA is already having.  They noted this provision of law “permitted the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to manipulate the federal Medicare program, reaping an estimated $367 million annually from the other 49 states – and unfairly favoring one state’s hospitals and Medicare beneficiaries to the detriment of others.”  The associations warned that “if left uncorrected, hospitals in 49 states will experience reduced funding of more than $3.5 billion over the next ten years as a direct result of this manipulation.” More information about this provision of the ACA and the new legislation will be available at the Policy Institute.

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