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Recent Updates Show Potentially Damaging Reforms to Medicaid and Medicare in President’s Budget

 We have serious concerns regarding proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare in order to reduce government spending in President Trump’s 2019 Budget. The proposed plan, as sent to Congress, includes hundreds of billions of dollars in savings through Medicaid and Medicare reforms, in addition to cuts to various discretionary programs.

An update from Politico shows that the 2019 budget proposal, “would expand Medicare's policy on site-neutral payments, in which providers are paid the same regardless of where they deliver care, saving taxpayers as much as $80 billion over a decade. Paying hospital-owned doctor practices the same as independent practices would save another $34 billion.”

Further, the Politico reporting states that the Trump administration hopes to "modify hospital payments for uncompensated care," which it believes would save just under $70 billion. It also asks for reforms for Medicare coverage of bad debt which it hopes would save an additional $37 billion.

The Administration is asking Congress to roll back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, instead supporting Medicaid state block grants. This would be potentially devastating for rural hospitals. Recent studies have shown that Medicaid expansion states have had significantly less rural hospital closures than those who did not.

NRHA is looking over the details of the proposed plan and will provide updates as we know more. The Administration and Congress have pledged to support vulnerable rural communities. At first glance, this budget would instead devastate rural patients and providers. We need to work together to ensure that Washington hears the voice of rural and does not agree to these troubling and enormously harmful requests. A link to the full Politico article can be found here.

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