Providers take Medicare concerns to the House

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Hoping to duplicate success in the Senate, providers on Tuesday sent a letter thanking 62 House Republican members for opposing Medicare cuts in President Bush's proposed 2007 budget.

The Senate Budget Committee recently advanced a proposed budget that did not include cuts to Medicare funding that the administration has called for. The House will hammer out its budget proposal in the coming weeks. Lobbyists say early indications are that it will follow in the Senate's footsteps and also not call for the Medicare cuts or some other measures providers deem harmful.

Lawmakers, many of whom will be subject to mid-term elections this year, are reluctant to push for funding cuts. Observers say the long-range forecast is that Congress and the administration again will negotiate final Medicare funding levels very deep into the budgeting process, later this year and possibly even into next year.