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After a 1998-fiscal year survey of 179 Pennsylvania hospitals showed that 67% of them were unable to cover operating expenses with patient revenues, the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) renewed its commitment to stopping additional Medicare cuts, especially from the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997.
Here’s what the Harrisburg-based HAP’s legislative efforts are trying to ensure (for more on the BBA consequences, see cover story):
• There are no additional Medicare reductions in the fiscal year 2000 budget.
• There is no extension of the BBA provisions, which included more than $115 billion in Medicare spending reductions that were originally intended to cut $53 billion from hospitals and health systems alone.
• There are no new provider user fees in the fiscal year 2000 Budget Resolution.
• A portion of the federal budget surplus is reserved to repair unintended consequences of the BBA.
• Funding for graduate medical education (GME) is maintained as an entitlement.
HAP also is active in lobbying for several pieces of legislation that would give a "midcourse correction" to Medicare cuts, including HR405, which would repeal the act’s transfer provision.