Bush budget would cut facility reimbursements by $10 billion

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President Bush's fiscal year 2006 budget would include a $10 billion decrease in Medicare reimbursements to skilled nursing facilities.

The proposal also calls for a $4.6 billion decrease in reimbursements to inpatient acute care facilities and an $860 million decrease in reimbursements to inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Decreases in Medicare reimbursements, under the proposal, would occur over a five-year period.

The budget proposal also includes a $60 billion cut in Medicaid over the next 10 years. Lawmakers expect "a bitter fight" over the proposed reductions in funds for Medicaid, according to the New York Times.

Overall, the proposal would provide an estimated $340 billion for Medicare in FY 2006, about $50 billion more than in FY 2005. The increase in part would result from the new Medicare prescription drug benefit scheduled to begin next January.

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