More than 50 groups push Congress to extend Medicare programs

More than 50 groups push Congress to extend Medicare programs
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More than 50 health-care organizations are urging Congress to quickly pass a package of Medicare extenders, ideally in an upcoming short-term spending bill, arguing the delay could hurt seniors.

“Now that we are well into 2018, Congress’ inaction on these important Medicare policies could mean real harm to the vulnerable patients we serve,” the groups, including the Caregiver Action Network, Medicare Rights Center and National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, wrote in a letter sent Friday to Republican and Democratic leaders.

Several Medicare programs expired last year. Other health-care programs in need of a long-term funding renewal include special diabetes programs and the community health centers that serve the nation’s most vulnerable.

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The last stop-gap spending bill came on the heels of a three-day government shutdown and included funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey Senate Republican: Criminal justice reform needs more GOP support GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference MORE (R-Ky.) predicted Thursday that the government wouldn’t shut down again, as Congress will race to keep the government’s lights on when it returns next week.

Short-term funding legislation hasn’t been released, and it’s unclear if extensions of health programs will make it into the final product.