Opposition to Medicare cuts grows in Senate

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Nearly half of the nation's senators have voiced objections to proposed Medicare cuts of $770 million in fiscal year 2009, according to the American Health Care Association and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

At least 16 conservative senators, many of them facing heated re-election campaigns, have voiced their concern over the proposed Medicare cuts. Most recently, Roger Wicker (R-MS) joined the likes of Sens. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Arlen Specter (R-PN) and Thad Cochran (R-MS). All told, more than 40 senators have sent letters either to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt or White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten over the last three months.

The proposed cuts represent a correction to a forecasting error made during 2005 concerning Resource Utilization Groups (McKnight's, 5/2), according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. While CMS maintains that the cuts are necessary, many in the long-term care industry believe they are unfairly paying for a mistake they didn't make.
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