Sebelius' cuts in home health care funds could jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs

Posted by Kristina Law on Feb 28, 2014

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Not only will services to the elderly be cut by this move, but as Jim Angle of Fox News reports, it will end up killing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may recently have had her own embarrassing moment akin to President Obama's promise that everyone could keep their health plan and their doctor, no matter what.

Discussing the impact of ObamaCare on jobs, she said last week in Orlando, “There is absolutely no evidence and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act."

But Sebelius herself, using discretion granted her by the Affordable Care Act, cut the maximum allowed by law from home health care funds. The cuts were deep enough that officials offered a damaging prediction of the impact saying, it was estimated that approximately 40 percent of providers would have negative margins.

And companies with negative margins don't last long -- or have to cut workers.

These cuts were reported since last year. The Daily Caller writes, “starting Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin slashing 14 percent of their Home Health Care Prospective Payment Program budget … the cuts — which are being made to fund Obamacare — will slash the homecare budget 3.5 percent every year for the next four.”

As it turns out, not only is that 14% cut a reality, but Kathleen Sebelius has doubled down on the cuts, to the tune of causing a 40% reduction in the amount of services home health providers will be able to supply. The companies that provide home health services are just like any other small business. They have no choice but to make ends meet. If they are not profitable, they have to lay off employees or close the doors.

Home health providers supply an important service to the seniors of our society. Many of them have no desire to go to the hospital, especially when they can receive the care they need at home. That is important, to them and to their families. The job losses may not be calculable, but as the quote from Fox News implies, 498,000 jobs are in danger of going down the drain of ObamaCare.

The administration’s efforts to trim Obamacare costs have taken the form of cutting funds to existing home care funds. Only the time will tell how many home health companies will survive the implementation of such cuts.