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Romney Campaign Press Release - Another Obama Medicare Achievement: Penalizing Thousands of Hospitals

August 23, 2012

"President Obama's decision to cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare will hurt today's seniors. Thousands of hospitals around the country will be punished and millions of retirees could lose their Medicare Advantage plans. As president, Mitt Romney will reverse these disastrous cuts, while ensuring Medicare is preserved and strengthened for future generations." – Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

President Obama Cut $716 Billion From Medicare To Pay For Obamacare –  A Cut The Obama Campaign Now Refers To As An Achievement:

According To The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare Cuts $716 Billion From Medicare. (Congressional Budget Office, Letter To Speaker John Boehner, 7/24/12)

  • Miami Herald: "Obama's $700 Billion Medicare-Cut Problem" (Marc Caputo, "Obama's $700 Billion Medicare-Cut Problem," Miami Herald, 8/12/12)

President Obama's Senior Campaign Aide Has Bragged That President Obama "Achieved" $700 Billion In "Cuts In Medicare." CUTTER: "Well, you know ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more. Cut waste from the government. Reform Medicare. More than $300 billion in savings from Medicare. On top of the savings we've already achieved. You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 8/12/12)

Who Will Pay The Price For President Obama's Cuts? Thousands Of Hospitals Who Are Providing Care To Today's Seniors:

"A Provision Of Obamacare Is Set To Punish Roughly Two-Thirds Of U.S. Hospitals Starting This Fall Over High Readmission Rates..." "A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News. Starting in October, Medicare will reduce reimbursements to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates -- which refers to patients who return within a month -- by as much as 1 percent. The maximum penalty increases to 2 percent the following year and 3 percent in 2014." (Jonathan Serrie, "More Than 2,200 Hospitals Face Penalties Under Obamacare Rules," Fox News, 8/23/12)

Over 2,000 Hospitals Will Lose Nearly $280 Million In Medicare Funding Because Of Obamacare.  "More than 2,000 hospitals — including some nationally recognized ones — will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show. Together, these hospitals will forfeit about $280 million in Medicare funds over the next year as the government begins a wide-ranging push to start paying health care providers based on the quality of care they provide." (Jordan Rau, "Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions," Kaiser Health News, 8/13/12)

  • "The Penalties Will Fall Heaviest On Hospitals In New Jersey, New York, The District Of Columbia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois And Massachusetts..." "The penalties will fall heaviest on hospitals in New Jersey, New York, the District of Columbia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois and Massachusetts, a Kaiser Health News analysis of the records shows.  Hospitals that treat the most low-income patients will be hit particularly hard." (Jordan Rau, "Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions," Kaiser Health News, 8/13/12)

76 Percent Of The Hospitals That Are Facing Funding Cuts Serve The Poor. "Some safety-net hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients tend to have higher readmission rates, which the hospitals attribute to the lack of access to doctors and medication these patients often experience after discharge. The analysis of the penalties shows that 76 percent of the hospitals that have a lot of low-income patients will lose Medicare funds in the fiscal year starting in October. Only 55 percent of the hospitals treating few poor patients are going to be penalized, the analysis shows." (Jordan Rau, "Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions," Kaiser Health News, 8/13/12)

And Things Will Only Get Worse When President Obama's Cuts Threaten The Medicare Benefits Of Millions Of Current Retirees:

The Medicare Actuary Has Estimated 15% Of "Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, And Home Health Agencies" Will Be In The Red Before The Decade Is Over. "In the Office of the Actuary's April 22, 2010 memorandum on the estimated financial effects of the Affordable Care Act, we noted that by 2019 the update reductions would result in negative total facility margins for about 15 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. This estimated percentage would continue to increase, reaching roughly 25 percent in 2030 and 40 percent by 2050. In practice, providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and, absent legislative changes, would have to withdraw from providing services to Medicare beneficiaries, merge with other provider groups, or shift substantial portions of Medicare costs to their non-Medicare, non-Medicaid payers." ("Projected Expenditures Under An Illustrative Scenario With Alternative Payment Updates To Medicare Providers," Center For Medicare & Medicaid Services, 5/13/11)

52 Percent Of Doctors Say Obamacare Will Compel Them To Close Or Significantly Restrict Their Practices To Medicare Patients. (Merritt Hawkins, "Health Reform and the Decline of Physician Private Practice," The Physicians Foundation, October 2010)

Obamacare's Cuts Will Cause Enrollment In Medicare Advantage To "Plummet By About 50 Percent" And Leave Seniors With "Higher Out-Of-Pocket Costs." "In addition to flagging provider cuts as potentially unsustainable, the report [HHS] projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More," The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

  • The Medicare Trustees Project These Cuts Will Drive 4 Million Seniors Out Of Medicare Advantage Plans By 2018. (Medicare Trustees Report, 4/23/12)

Mitt Romney, Romney Campaign Press Release - Another Obama Medicare Achievement: Penalizing Thousands of Hospitals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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