15% cut may be eliminated

A Republican Party internal memo, portions of which were recently published by the Bureau of National Affairs, reveals that thanks in part to President Bush’s new tax cut coupled with a rapidly shrinking federal budget surplus, the final elimination of the 15% home health cut is in danger.

According to some industry observers, the home health care cut, which was scheduled to take place on Oct. 1, 2002, might fall victim to already committed outlays, (which includes the $1.35 trillion tax cut) provided that Congress dips into the Medicare Part A Trust Fund surplus to cover them.

Estimates place the cost of doing away with the home health care cut at $14 billion over the next 10 years. The memo predicts that any forecasted budget surplus, which had been estimated to be as much as $38 billion in non-Medicare/ non-Social Security funds for fiscal year 2002, is nil.