Nursing home alliance 'pleased' with Obama and Boehners' focus on fiscal ills

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)

The leader of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care expressed optimism Friday after President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) spoke publicly about looming healthcare funding threats.

 

“We are pleased to see President Obama and Speaker Boehner move so swiftly today to elevate the pending ‘fiscal cliff' and sequestration issue to the policy forefront because finally pursuing bigger-picture, systemic reforms that reduce costs, improve efficiency and optimize care quality are a necessity, not an option, now that the election is over,” said AQNHC President Alan Rosenbloom.

The organization concurred with former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services head Gail Wilensky, who told Politico earlier this week: “Just trying to whack reimbursement rates does not work over the long term — it never has.”

Rosenbloom expressed concern about the nearly $4 billion in skilled nursing facility Medicare cuts approaching Jan. 1, 2013, as well as already established $65 billion in cumulative SNF funding reductions over 10 years.

Contentious fiscal debate between the Republican and Democrat factions may continue.

"I'm open to compromise. I'm open to new ideas. I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced,” Obama said Friday. “I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, who are making over $250,000 a year, aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I'm not going to do that."

Boehner said his party wants to move forward without raising taxes "in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us" and that 2013  "should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform."

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