SAMPLE LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OPPOSING HOME HEALTH, SNF CUTS IN THE DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT
January __, 2006
The Honorable (first name last name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear [Congressman/Congresswoman (last name)]:
As a constituent and health care provider involved in the delivery of vital long term care
services, I wanted express my extreme concern over several damaging provisions in the
version of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that will come before the House in the
Of greatest concern is the freeze in Medicare payments for home health care providers
that was added to the bill in conference.
Neither the Senate nor the House saw good reason to include such a cut in their
respective budget packages, and this provision was slipped into the compromise
package in an unusual last minute move. This unusual and inappropriate action will
result in great harm, and must be rejected.
You should be aware that the Medicare home health benefit has sustained substantial
cuts in recent years and that currently 35 percent of home health agencies lose money
on the care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. These agencies already are feeling
the effects of a cut of 0.8 percent to their market basket inflation update effective in
January 2006. Any further reductions would be devastating and would have a hugely
disruptive impact on access to services for frail and disabled senior citizens.
On top of these particularly damaging cuts, the Deficit Reduction Act would further
undermine the availability of long term care services by cutting payments to nursing
homes to cover bad debt expenses and by putting in place a number of restrictions that
will limit Medicaid eligibility for certain individuals seeking long term care services.
Please reject efforts to cut the home health program and to undermine access to other
long term care services by voting NO on the conference report to the Deficit Reduction
Act of 2005.