Federal Budget Calls for $2 Trillion in Health Cuts

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) Tuesday unveiled a budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2012 that would cut more than $6 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years, more than a third of which would come from Medicaid and the repeal of the coverage provisions included in health reform.

The proposal also rolls back expansions of health coverage to millions of people but keeps the $155 billion in reductions to hospitals contained in the health reform law. Hospitals provide nearly $40 billion in uncompensated care per year, and that number will grow if coverage is not expanded to those who cannot afford care.

Hospitals already are subject to $155 billion in reductions as part of health reform, as well as absorbing state budget cuts. While tough choices must be made,America's most vulnerable should not have to shoulder the burden. There are alternatives, such as creating a better alternative to our current liability system, junk food taxes, increased beneficiary cost-sharing, a tax cap on employer-provided health insurance benefits, and adjusting the retirement age, that have been proposed by various commissions. (Source:  American Hospital Association)

04-07-2011 02:30 (EDT)