House leader proposes $353 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings to aid deficit

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SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims
SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) outlined this week a list of Medicare and Medicaid changes, including cuts to healthcare providers, which could save $353 billion over the next 10 years. Cantor's proposals are the result of ongoing deficit reduction negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.

One of Cantor's proposals, which has sparked strong reaction from healthcare provider groups and advocates, is roughly in line with White House proposals to blend certain Medicaid matching percentages into a single rate. Cantor says this provision would save about $100 billion, according to published reports. State governors, however, have been vocal in their opposition to blended payments, asserting they would shift costs to the states.

Several of Cantor's proposals take funding from the states, doctors and other healthcare providers. One proposal would cut payments for radiology tests such as CT scans and MRIs, while another would increase Medicare beneficiary co-payments for laboratory testing. Cantor says his plan would save an estimated $26 billion by getting rid of payments on Medicare's bad debt.