, November 21, 2011

There's little question that Medicare and Medicaid -- the two federal health care programs for the elderly, disabled and the poor -- are in the supercommittee's sights along with Social Security cuts. Nursing homes and hospitals are worried the panel will take an ax to federal reimbursements, which would come on top of other recently enacted cuts to such providers. Dave Dillon, a spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association, said his members are most worried the supercommittee will shave so-called "provider taxes," which many states use to generate federal matching funds to pay for Medicaid. Right now, Missouri imposes a 6 percent levy on hospitals, the legal maximum, which generates $900 million in revenue annually. Missouri then doles that funding back out to providers -- and snags federal matching funds in the process.

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