Harkin's fiscal cliff warning: Protect Medicaid, Medicare

Share this article:
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

As top Democrats and Republican attempted to deal with an impending fiscal cliff, they were given a strong rebuke by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): Don't ruin two critical safety net programs that seniors depend on.

More specifically, he said fellow legislators need to, “Keep your hands off Medicaid, and keep your hands of Medicare.” 

Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined fellow Democrats and other like-minded leaders to urge protection of the social health programs.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health observed, “Medicaid is an easy target. Most people don't know what it is, and those who do know don't care. We get nervous when we hear about secret meetings [between the president and House negotiators] … and I feel no obligation to vote for a bad deal just to be able to get Republican votes.”

Republicans saw budget negotiations as an opportunity to put social programs under the microscope, and perhaps under the knife. Any cuts to Medicaid could damage the Affordable Care Act, which calls for expanding the program with the federal government picking up much of the tab. States may choose not to increase the program. 

Share this article:

More in News

Also in the news for August 22, 2014

Iowa's nursing homes lost, on average, 41% of their employees each year from 2010-2012 ... Researchers identify proteins necessary in wound healing ... More than 40% percent of SSDI recipients take opioid pain relievers, study says.

CMS: Many skilled nursing providers have poor Medicare certification and recertification practices

CMS: Many skilled nursing providers have poor Medicare ...

The rate of improper Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities has increased largely due to issues with certification and recertification statements, according to a recently released government memorandum. The Centers ...

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement in case of false documentation

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement ...

Nursing home operator Ralex Services Inc. has agreed to a $2.2 million settlement in a whistleblower case involving forged documents at a facility in New Rochelle, New York.