On January 1st, 2014, the Obama Administration sharply cut Medicare funding for home healthcare services.
Totaling a whopping 14 percent between 2014 and 2017, this cut is the maximum allowable under the ObamaCare law. The Administration had the discretion to cut less, or even to make no cuts at all. But they decided to impose the deepest cut made possible by the Affordable Care Act legislation. And in doing so, they will shift billions of dollars from Medicare to ObamaCare.
This cut is not only unprecedented in its magnitude – it will have a direct and devastating impact on the millions of ailing seniors who want to stay in their homes and not have to move to a facility.
In 2013, Medicare home health services were delivered to approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. According to the federal government’s own data, these seniors are older, poorer and sicker than the Medicare beneficiary population as whole. Many of these seniors also reside in rural communities, where home health care is especially important because other sources of treatment are often located many miles away.
The Medicare home health benefit is also of critical importance to younger Americans. Families across America depend on home health services to help them care for their aging parents. Having a skilled nurse come to their homes to deliver needed treatment not only means that Mom and Dad don’t have to go into a nursing home – it also means their adult daughters and sons can balance caring for their parents with raising a family and earning a living.
In light of its importance to millions of seniors and their families, the Medicare home health sector has been one of the nation’s leading creators of new jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thousands of Americans find employment every month in the home health field. Just as important, these jobs are being created by small businesses, which constitute more than 90 percent of all providers of home health services.
But all that’s about to change.
According to the Obama Administration’s own admission, “approximately 40 percent” of all providers of home health services face net losses as a result of this Medicare cut. Put more plainly, 4-in-10 of all the providers on whom homebound seniors depend face the threat of bankruptcy and closure as a result of ObamaCare. That means that nearly 500,000 jobs could disappear all in the name of “affordable health care”.
These cuts also disproportionately affect women. Data also show home health beneficiaries are more likely to be female, a minority, and/or disabled and that women constitute the majority of home health beneficiaries.
- 60% of the 3.5 million Medicare home health beneficiaries* are women: 2,100,000 SENIOR WOMEN
- 75% of the 3.5 million family caregivers are women: 2,625,000 ADULT DAUGHTERS (or other female caregivers)
- 90% of the 498,000 jobs at risk from this cut are held by women: 448,000 PROFESSIONAL WOMEN
Total: An estimated 5,173,000 woman are directly impacted by Obamacare’s Medicare home health cut
• CY 2014 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, November 22, 2013.
• Analysis of CY 2014 Home Health Perspective Payment System Rule, Avalere Health, November 2013.
• Medicare Beneficiary and Workforce Analysis: Home Health Sector, Avalere Health, March 2014.
Update: AMAC has attracted the attention of the House Republican Conference regarding these cuts, and they’ve made them a featured issue.
Please help AMAC spread the word about this reprehensible attack on the most vulnerable of senior citizens. Please download the handouts below and share them with your friends and family. Better yet, visit your Congressman/woman’s local district office to share this information with them in person. We’ve also attached a Congressional schedule that shows when your member of Congress should be in their home district. If you only get to share the information with a staff member, don’t worry. Your message will be related to the Congressman/woman. What’s of greatest importance and impact is to make a personal visit with this information to the local district office, and bring a friend or two!