AHA/ASA You’re the Cure advocates made their voices heard with the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – the so-called “Super Committee” – about the impact that significant changes or cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would have on many of our most vulnerable citizens with heart disease and stroke, including seniors, children, and those with disabilities. The failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit means that Medicaid and Medicare emerge from the first session of the 112th Congress unscathed – for now.
Under the Budget Control Act, automatic spending cuts will be triggered for many programs beginning in 2013. The good news, however, is that Medicaid and Medicare benefits are exempt from these automatic cuts. In addition, cuts to Medicare providers are capped at 2 percent per year. Despite this good news, however, in this era of deficit reduction it is virtually inevitable that Congress will once again look to Medicare and Medicaid as sources for budget cuts at some point in the future. Stay tuned for opportunities to act to help protect these critical programs.