WASHINGTON, D.C (July 16, 2021)—The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and a group of like-minded organizations representing America's health providers have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), asking them to:
•    oppose an extension of mandatory Medicare sequestration as a pay-for in any infrastructure package; and
•    oppose the use of Medicare funds to pay for non-health care programs.

Americans rely on homecare, hospice, hospitals and health systems, physicians, and skilled nursing facilities to care for them and maintain their health. The letter writers expressed appreciation that addressing core infrastructure needs can allow them to continue to serve their communities and patients.

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. Home health agencies, hospices, physicians, nurses, hospitals and health systems, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, 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 NAHC can support, and NAHC is asking the senators to remove it from the list of possible pay-fors. Health care providers cannot sustain additional cuts to the Medicare program.

“The originally planned Medicare sequestration has gone on long past its original design," says NAHC President William A. Dombi. "Medicare providers should not be considered the 'go to' source of funding for Congressional actions. In this action, the whole health care community has come together and definitively stated that sequestration should end.”

Visit nahc.org for more information.