Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chambliss: Cuts to Home Health Care Takes Away Affordable Option

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., on the Senate floor today, spoke in favor of an amendment that would have removed the nearly $42 billion in cuts to Medicare’s home health care program included in the health care bill. Senators voted along party lines and the amendment failed by a 41-53 vote.

“Seniors are very concerned about the impact this bill will have on their Medicare benefits, and they ought to be,” said Chambliss.“I don’t know about the folks on the other side of the aisle, but I want our Medicare patients in Georgia to continue to have the option to receive the good home health care that they are getting today, which allows them to have a better quality of life. This bill will take away an important affordable option. This is just another example of how this bill threatens access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.”

On the Senate floor, Chambliss highlighted a letter from the Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies, which is opposed to the home health care cuts included the health care bill. Chambliss quoted part of the letter during his floor speech, which states:

“Under Senator Reid’s bill, 72.15 percent of home health agencies in Georgia will have negative margins by 2016 in the Senate bill, and approximately 68 percent of the 100 Medicare Certified home health agencies in Georgia will go out of business and the patients they serve will be rehospitalized or forced to seek alternative, more costly care."

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