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AHA: Obama Budget Proposes 'Troubling Reductions'

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2013

Healthcare leaders' brows were mostly furrowed by the Obama Administration's proposed budget for the fiscal year 2014, released Wednesday.

"Today's proposal contains troubling reductions to assistance to hospitals that help defray some of the costs of caring for low-income seniors known as bad debt," said Rich Umdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association in prepared remarks.

"In addition, the budget would jeopardize the ability of hospitals to train the next generation of physicians by cutting funding for graduate medical education, and hinder care for people in rural communities by reducing funding for critical access hospitals."

Proposed cuts to post-acute providers, particularly to inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, would limit specialized care, while an expanded Independent Payment Advisory Board would remove elected officials from the Medicare decision-making process, Umdenstock said.

By limiting charitable deductions, the administration may discourage private giving to hospitals, Umdenstock added, urging that charitable giving be excluded from any limitations on deductions and the existing federal tax charitable deduction be maintained.

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