Hospitals launch ad campaign against Medicare, Medicaid cuts

A broad array of hospital groups on Monday launched a multiweek, national ad campaign against healthcare cuts made up of radio, television and print spots.

The multimillion-dollar ad buy comes as lawmakers have been discussing deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as part of debt-ceiling negotiations (the White House has proposed $1 trillion in cuts to domestic spending and $300 billion in defense cuts). The groups involved in the ads include the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the National Association of Children's Hospitals and several others. 

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"This is no time for further funding cuts in Medicare and Medicaid," FAH President and CEO Chip Kahn said in a statement. "New cuts will be harmful to millions of Americans who depend upon hospitals for their health care."

Beyond harming patients' access to care, the campaign warns, deep cuts to healthcare spending would hurt hospitals' ability to train the next generation of medical providers.

"Cutting from the funding that teaching hospitals need to help train doctors and provide critical services unavailable elsewhere would have a devastating impact on the ability of these institutions to train the medical professionals that care for communities and discover new cures," said Darrell Kirch of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Coalition to Protect America's Health Care was created in 2000 to draw attention to the cuts called for in the Balanced Budget Act.

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