Lost in the fight over the Affordable Care Act is a bottom line dollars and cents issue about health care in America. The continuing “sequestration” produces short-term savings, but at the cost of the long-term investment needed to generate greater, sustainable savings in medical care and research down the road. Created without data and without hearings, and using an arbitrary percentage for across-the-board cuts, sequestration has eliminated $45 billion from health care reimbursements over the next decade. That’s on top of the $155 billion in Medicare cuts mandated as part of the ACA, and on top of cuts of $35 billion over ten years to fee schedules put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Another $4.2 billion in payments to hospitals has also been eliminated by CMS. These deep cuts take away funding that providers need to change their delivery models to achieve higher-quality care at lower cost. And frontline providers aren’t the only sector of healthcare being damaged by sequestration. The National Institutes of Health, the foundation of our health research infrastructure, is being cut by more than $1 billion. Budgets for agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control are also being cut, impacting prevention programs—another valuable tool for long-term savings. We’ll be paying a high price for these savings if we fail to invest in research and development and prevention, just as those cuts undermine delivery system reform efforts. I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.’
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Video Source: Your Tax Dollars at Work for Health Care—or Not
KEYWORDS: Affordable Care Act, Sequestration, ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Health, Health Minute, 3bl Media