Providers urge Congress to keep Medicare funds in budget

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As Congress prepares to negotiate a fiscal year 2008 budget bill compromise, providers are lobbying hard for the preservation of Medicare and Medicaid funds.

"Given those 85 and older comprise the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, the need for long-term care will continue to increase significantly, and federal funding policies should reflect this reality commensurate with the enormous task at hand," said Bruce Yarwood, president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living. His comments appeared in a press release issued by the organizations Tuesday.

Congress is expected to hammer out a compromise on the fiscal year 2008 budget bill by the end of the month. The Senate returned from its Easter recess on Tuesday. The House is expected back next Monday.