US health-care lobbyists have begun concerted efforts to convince the upcoming 'supercommittee' on debt-cuts, that any massive reductions in health care and health insurance will hurt national priorities and hit job growth. Lawmakers will be lobbied so that they may find savings and revenue from elsewhere to close the long-term budget gap facing the nation.
Lobbying and public relations campaigns have been kickstarted with trade unions, lobbyists, and non-governmental organizations trying to influence the upcoming 'supercommittee', which has members from all political hues.
The committee will be formed later this month for the much-awaited compromise to gear up for this week's debt-limit deal, which will result in billions of dollars in cuts for Washington's big-ticket health industry.
If the US Congress can't agree on a broader deficit reduction plan by December 2011, there will be a mandatory $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next ten years. Most of that amount will target medicare providers, apart from Pentagon and the defence industry. The compromise bill passed earlier this week had averted a major government default.
Alarm bells are ringing among major US hospital and insurance firms, and others that would stand to lose billions if Congress doesn't decide on a different course of action.
The American Hospital Association, which has health care facilities in every congressional district, fears an estimated loss of $50 billion a year in medicare payments under the present scenario. Washington politics is divided between two holy cows: medicare supported by the Democrats and defense spending supported by the Republicans.