Obama administration looking at big healthcare cuts

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White House proposes 'accelerated' skilled nursing facility payment cuts
White House proposes 'accelerated' skilled nursing facility payment cuts

President Obama, much to the dismay of fellow Democrats and healthcare providers, is expected to ask Congress and its super committee to find $300 billion to $500 billion of savings over a decade in entitlement programs.

This alarms members of the president's party, who worry modest proposals for Medicare and Medicaid cuts will be the launching pad for deeper ones, The New York Times reports. Providers are worried, meanwhile, that additional cuts could force them to lay off workers. 

White House officials also said recently that the Department of Health and Human Services would start applying guidelines of the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program to Medicaid. The program has recovered $668 million in incorrect Medicare payments in 2011 already, officials said. Applying it to Medicaid could result in government savings of about $2.1 billion over five years, with about $900 million going back to states.

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