Supercommittee Failure Means Health Care Cuts
The failure of the congressional supercommittee to propose deficit reduction measures will lead directly to cuts in federal health care spending – cuts that will especially hurt urban safety-net hospitals.
Beginning in 2013, all Medicare payments to providers will fall two percent. Other areas likely to be cut include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), public health programs, HIV/AIDS funding, disease prevention efforts, and more.
This year’s Budget Control Act mandated across-the-board spending cuts if Congress failed to adopt $1.2 trillion worth of deficit reduction measures by the end of the year.
That same law exempts Medicaid from any of these cuts.
The anticipated cuts are likely to be especially challenging for the nation’s urban safety-net hospitals, which operate on thinner margins than most of their peers and are far more dependent on public payments than the typical acute-care hospital.