On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that, among other things, would further extend Medicare sequestration by one year (until 2024) in part to avoid a reduction in military pensions. Earlier in the week, when House Republicans released the proposal, a group of hospital associations, including the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, voiced their opposition to the sequestration extension. The letter, addressed to representatives, states that, while the hospital associations “do not oppose the extension of the debt limit, [they] do oppose using Medicare reductions to pay for non-Medicare related spending.” (emphasis in original). The letter explains that “Medicare has been cut time and time again” and that “[h]ospitals already face $113 billion in cuts that have been imposed over the last three years at a time of enormous change and challenges.” The letter warns that “Medicare is meant to assure seniors access to needed medical care, not to serve as a piggybank for other programs” and that further cuts “will jeopardize health service for seniors.”

To view the text of the Bill click here. To view the letter click here.