WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/22/08) - A Wisconsin health care organization is attributing three of the state's congressional representatives for saving some Medicare benefits for residents of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Health Care Association (WHCA) has high praise for U.S. Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Steve Kagen (D-WI) and Ron Kind (D-WI), a member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, for participating in a successful, bipartisan effort in Congress last week to stop the Bush Administration attempt to cut funding.
The Bush Administration was trying to move forward with a Medicare regulation that would have cut Medicare-funded nursing home care by $5 billion over the next five years and $770 million in fiscal year 2009.
"The Bush Administration's planned Medicare cuts threatened Wisconsin seniors' access to quality health care throughout our state, and would have also had an impact on our state and local economy," said WHCA Executive Director Tom Moore.
"Representatives Baldwin, Kagen and Kind deserve enormous credit for their efforts in Washington to protect our long term care residents," Moore said.
"Because of their independent thinking and decisive action, Wisconsin seniors will retain ready access to the high quality care they deserve," the Wisconsin Health Care Association director pointed out.
Medicare cuts from Washington would have damaged the strength and viability of Wisconsin's Medicaid program, according to the WHCA.
Wisconsin nursing homes currently rely on Medicare to help make up for chronic underfunding by the Medicaid program which is the source of payment for care provided to two-thirds of individuals residing in this state's facilities.
Statistics show that Wisconsin facilities lose an average of $27.29 per day for every Medicaid beneficiary they serve - more than twice the national average of $13 per patient day.
The Wisconsin Health Care Association believes actions of Representatives Baldwin, Kagen and Kind helped to ensure Medicare reimbursements remain consistent and protect Wisconsin seniors from experiencing cuts of $16.6 million in the year ahead.
Wisconsin Health Care Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing, protecting and advancing the interests of more than 190 Wisconsin nursing facilities, their 28,000 employees and the 27,000 residents they serve. WHCA is the state's largest nursing home association.