B’nai B’rith Supports Fiscal Cliff Deal That Will Help Medicare Patients Maintain Access To Doctors, Concerns Remain about Looming Cuts
B’nai B’rith International welcomes the bill to prevent the sequester cuts passed through the Senate and House of Representatives on New Year’s day, just after the technical fiscal cliff deadline. This measure was imperative to stopping across the board, discretionary spending cuts as well as tax hikes on almost all Americans.
B’nai B’rith is also relieved that the “doc fix” was part of this short-term fiscal package. The one year fix stops a 27 percent reimbursement cut to physicians who treat Medicare patients. Without a deal, these automatic cuts would have threatened Medicare beneficiaries’ access to physicians and health care.
“Ensuring seniors have access to doctors by stopping a cut in reimbursements to those who treat the elderly is a vital element of this bill,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said.
Despite this, B’nai B’rith International still has significant concerns as we look ahead to another sequester—and debt limit—deadline.
“What will be on the negotiating table next time? Probably the same menu as this time,” B’nai B’rith International Associate Executive Vice President Mark D. Olshan said. “Non-discretionary domestic spending programs that help the elderly, sure, but we’re also going to hear calls for cuts to Medicare and Medicaid again. We certainly hope Social Security would be left out because it is self funded and doesn’t contribute to the deficit but we have reason to be concerned about that as well.”
B’nai B’rith does not believe cutting funds to earned benefits like Medicare and Social Security, or to poverty programs, are the only or most responsible ways to meet our fiscal challenges. We will continue to urge our legislators to work toward a balanced approach that includes responsible savings in spending programs along with other approaches whenever possible.