Debt-reduction concerns rise

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Providers were anxiously wondering at press time if they should hope for the “devil” they know or the one they don't, regarding the work of the national debt-reduction “super-committee.”

The bipartisan committee of U.S. lawmakers was remaining tight-lipped about its ongoing negotiations. The panel was given the task of finding more than $1 trillion in federal spending cuts by Nov. 23. Medicare funding is a prime target for trims, observers have noted.

If the super-committee cannot agree on a plan, then funding to various agencies and providers would, by law, face 2% across-the-board cuts starting in 2013.

Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said members are prepared, but worried.

“We're working hard to tell our story. We just can't take any more cuts,” Parkinson said.