AHA, Other Provider Groups Oppose Using Medicare Cuts to Pay for Infrastructure

July 15, 2021

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer             The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader                                              Republican Leader
United States Senate                                     United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510                                  Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leader Schumer and Leader McConnell:

As representatives of our nation’s health care providers, we are writing to express our concerns about potential offsets that were included in the bipartisan infrastructure framework. Our providers have worked tirelessly to deliver the best care for patients, families and communities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to provide care and comfort to areas of the country that are seeing increasing caseloads and surges of new variants.

Americans rely on hospitals and health systems, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home care to care for them and maintain their health. We understand that addressing core infrastructure needs can allow us to continue to serve our communities and our patients. However, we are opposed to the use of an extension of mandatory Medicare sequestration as a pay-for in any infrastructure package. Additionally, we do not believe that Medicare funds should be used to pay for non-health care programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has persisted in parts of the country, infecting more than 33 million people and resulting in more than 607,000 deaths. America’s health care providers continue to face historic challenges. Physicians, nurses, hospitals and health systems, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospices have incurred significant expenses to test, vaccinate and treat the sick. Extending sequestration imposes a destabilizing element to health care access in the face of years of experience with cost increases that are not adequately accounted for in Medicare payments.

The inclusion of the continuation of the mandatory Medicare sequestration in the bipartisan infrastructure framework as an offset for the agreement is not something we can support, and we ask you to remove it from the list of possible pay-fors. Health care providers cannot sustain additional cuts to the Medicare program.

Thank you for your consideration of this important request. We look forward to continuing to work with you during this critical time.

Sincerely,

American Hospital Association
American Medical Association
American Health Care Association
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Association for Clinical Oncology

Related Resources

Action Alert
Member
AHA urges hospital and health system leaders to contact their senators and representatives and urge them not to use unobligated COVID-19 Provider Relief Funds…
Special Bulletin
Public
Download the AHA Special Bulletin: CMS Issues Hospital Outpatient/ASC Proposed Rule, Including Modifications to Price Transparency Rule
Letter/Comment
Public
The AHA tells Senate leaders it strongly opposes proposals to rescind emergency funds from the Provider Relief Fund to offset the costs of an infrastructure…
Action Alert
Member
Congress and the Biden Administration continue to prepare legislative language for a roughly $1.2 trillion infrastructure package as part of an agreement…
Letter/Comment
Public
A letter to Senate leaders from America’s Hospitals and Health Systems urging them to forgo to the use of an extension of mandatory sequestration, as well as…
Letter/Comment
Public
AHA's comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ hospital inpatient prospective payment system (PPS) proposed rule for fiscal year (FY) 2022.