To help pay for the health-care reform plan put forth by the Obama administration, hospitals across the country have agreed to a cut in Medicare and Medicaid payments, Vice President Joseph Biden announced Wednesday.
Terms of the agreement, which should save an estimated $155 billion in federal spending, include reducing payments for treating uninsured and low-income patients and slowing scheduled increases in Medicare payments, the Associated Press reported.
In return, hospitals would be reimbursed at rates higher than now allowed by Medicare and Medicaid if a public health insurance plan becomes part of the reform legislation, according to the AP.
Although Biden repeated the administration's vow to have health-care reform bills passed by Congress by the end of August and signed into law by October, the legislation remains mired on Capitol Hill. Partisan discussion and debate this week has centered on a proposed tax on certain health insurance benefits provided by employers.
Appearing with the vice president for announcement of the hospital deal were representatives of the American Hospital Association, Hospital Corporation of America, Community Health Systems and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the AP said.