On February 4, 2008, President Bush released his 2009 Fiscal Year budget. In an effort to achieve a budget surplus by 2012, President Bush proposed significant cuts to Medicare. The largest cuts are for hospitals:
- $15 billion from an across-the-board reduction in the annual updates for inpatient care
- $25 billion from disproportionate share payments
- $20 billion from capital payments for construction of hospitals and purchase of equipment
- $23 billion in indirect medical education
As always, it is important to recognize that the President’s proposal represents the opening bid in a lengthy federal budget process and Congress is not likely to enact the level of cuts proposed by President Bush.