Public hospitals seek to ward off cuts

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"As lawmakers and the president turn to the challenges of sequestration and the debt ceiling, we urge them to make healthcare for vulnerable people the highest priority and to reject proposals that might strain the nation's fragile safety net," Siegel said in a statement.

"Hospitals that care for large numbers of Medicaid and other low-income patients already have contributed significantly to federal health care savings, and will continue to do their part to improve quality and efficiency. But more federal spending cuts only will harm access to care and shift costs to state and local governments and taxpayers."

The statement echoes Medicaid providers' push over the last several months to avoid cuts as part of a possible deficit-reduction deal.

The conclusion of the latest standoff means groups will relaunch that campaign over the next two months.

The lead advocacy group for nursing homes also sought to ward off the possibility of cuts this week.

"The long term and post-acute sectors stand at the brink of our own cliff, already reeling from deep cuts to Medicaid and Medicare throughout 2012," American Health Care Association President Mark Parkinson said in a statement Wednesday.

"As Congress prepares for legislation to raise the debt ceiling, we stand ready to work with lawmakers to continue acknowledging cuts are something we cannot absorb in 2013."