Sen. Schumer in Cortland Today Calling for Repeal of Funding Cuts to Ambulance Services
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will be in Cortland today to officially launch his fight to protect Medicare payments for ambulance service providers.
Schumer says right now Medicare payments to private, non-profit, and volunteer ambulance companies barely covers the cost of providing the critical services.
The federal funds are set to be cut by 2% for urban ambulance providers and 3% for rural providers, the cuts are scheduled to take effect on March 31st.
The cuts are part of the federal affordable care act, also known as Obamacare. The savings is supposed to used to help fund the expansion of insurance to uninsured Americans.
Schumer says well-funded ambulance services and medics who provide life-saving care to patients are more important now than ever. Schumer says as the population ages and the number of Medicare beneficiaries in Central New York increases there will be an even greater demand on EMS services. From 2000 to 2010, the 60-plus population in New York increased by 15%.
TLC Ambulance services which serves portions of Cortland County is poised to lose over $144,000 in over the next 5 years.
Schumer is looking to pass a bill that would avoid this cut, by permanently repealing and replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate that was passed out of the Senate Finance Committee at the end of last year.