Beginning today, the Senate finance committee is expected to discuss budget reconciliation and relief packages for Hurricane Katrina victims. If the reconciliation process proceeds as it now appears, the Budget Committees slated to package those cuts together around October 26th and the bills expected on the floor shortly thereafter.
According to various press reports, some committees already are considering deeper cuts behind the scenes, including the Senate Finance Committee. There have been reports that the Finance Committee is considering net cuts of as much as $12 to $17 billion in Medicaid and Medicare, even though the target in the budget resolution was $10 billion. Votes in the Finance Committee could come as early as Wednesday.
Some efficiencies that would not harm beneficiaries have been identified in both Medicare and Medicaid. They include efforts to reduce overpayment to pharmaceutical companies through state Medicaid programs.
Our senators, Smith in particular, are under intense pressure to support additional cuts at a level that would harm beneficiaries including increased cost sharing and decreases in coverage for vulnerable people.
Your URGENT Action is Needed. Join us in a national call in day today and tomorrow. Call 1-800-828-0498. Urge Senators Smith and Wyden to reject any budget reconciliation that includes Medicaid cuts that harm beneficiaries including additional cost sharing.