WHAT OTHERS SAY: Don't let Congress cut Medicare funds for in-home health care

Friday, August 8, 2014 | 10:58 a.m. CDT

Many members of the U.S. House of Representatives want to forestall implementation of a proposal that would increase costs for the Medicare program, while forcing many older Americans to leave their own residences and go to nursing homes.

To a reasonable mind, preventing the change seems the responsible thing to do.

At issue is a proposal to slash Medicare reimbursement rates to in-home health care providers by 14 percent. That would force many to go out of business. In turn, their patients would have to go to institutions such as nursing homes for care. That would cost the government substantially more.

A measure to stop the Medicare-cutting plan is called the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act of 2014. It has 24 co-sponsors — all Republicans. Not a single Democrat in the House has signed up in support of the measure.

If enacted, the bill would block implementation of the plan by the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama. Lawmakers in a president's party often avoid opposing him. But in matters such as that at hand, taking that stance does a disservice to constituents.

Clearly, ultra-partisanship in Congress is not serving the nation well. As long as Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., control lawmakers in their party, that unproductive situation will continue.

Copyright Gloversville (N.Y.) Leader-Herald. Distributed by The Associated Press.

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