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Fiscal Cliff Looming, Healthcare Providers Move to Protect Funding

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 6, 2012

Such a loss of funding would force states to turn to taxpayers for additional revenue and likely would result in hospitals ending or scaling back important community services, such as specialty care clinics, NAPH said.

The AHA survey did not ask the respondents how they would pay for the continued funding for Medicare and Medicaid.

Bill McInturff, a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey, told reporters in the teleconference that other surveys he has done recently suggest that the public would support across-the-board income tax increases before they would support cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

"They really believe there are other options that they would support long before they would get to changes in Medicare and Medicaid, one of which would be raising taxes on people who make more than $250,000," McInturff says.

"It reflects the public’s unwillingness to want to make this change until and unless they believe lots of other things have been done first as regards to where they think these funds should come from. Voters have been very resistant to raising retirement ages and increasing taxes. Most of what has been discussed for the public policy solution does not have significant voter support."

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