At issue is whether or not Congress will truly let the sequester stand. The cuts will go into effect Jan. 3, 2013, unless members agree to either a budget that trims $ 1.2 trillion from the federal deficit or a short-term solution that delays sequestration. The general consensus is that nothing will be decided before November's elections.
"First, we only have three more days of Congress scheduled. How are you going to get a compromise in three days? Second, barring an act of war or terrorism I don't think you're going to see either the House or the Senate meeting between now and the election." says Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN.).
Cooper has served in the U.S. House for over two decades and teaches health policy at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management. He says hospitals might want to rethink their lobbying strategy.
"Medicare gets off light in sequestration. Cuts against other programs are four to five times larger. You know, healthcare is probably getting off light with sequestration given the gravity of nation's economic problems. This is the lightest cut they're likely to get," Cooper says.