The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee, charged with coming up with a plan to cut the national deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next decade failed to do so by their November 23rd deadline.
Although the group could not come to a compromise, the lack of a deal is a temporary win for home care because of what was on the table. Copayments on Medicare home health services were proposed and considered from several angles, including President Obama and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).
Now, because the six Democrats and six Republicans on the committee could not come to a compromise, a sequestration process begins where automatic and across-the-board spending cuts will be triggered and are planned to begin in January 2013. The debate on the subject, especially in Congress and for the upcoming election, will certainly not stop until that time and some course of action prior to the commencement of automatic cuts is likely to alter current plans.
See an official statement from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice on the Super Committee and avoiding a copay for Medicare home health services.
Senator John Kerry, a member of the 12-person committee, has proven once again to be a champion for home care issues. The Alliance has been in contact with his staff throughout the process who relayed HCA’s advocacy to the Senator. Such advocacy will need to continue until it is revealed how any cuts from the sequestration process will be doled out.
HCA will provide updates as the deficit reduction debate continues.