Sequester Cuts Now Impact Cancer Patients

Sequester Cuts Now Impact Cancer Patients

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It’s been only a month since sequestration took effect, yet cancer clinics across the country have allegedly turned away thousands of Medicare patients because of the new budget restraints.

Under sequestration, Medicare spending was cut by 2 percent, much less than the  reduction dealt to the majority of federal programs. And though 2 percent doesn’t seem like much, the cuts are unexpectedly damaging for cancer patients because of the way their treatments are covered. Cancer drugs are administered by a physician, so they fall under Medicare Part B, which was subject to the cuts – unlike  Medicare Part D, which covers medications for seniors and was exempt from sequestration.

  -   Read more at The Washington Post

BEYOND THE BELTWAY, SEQUESTER TAKES A TOLL   It’s not just cancer patients who have been impacted. “While Washington bureaucrats and rank-and-file employees sulk about the threat of disruption in services and pay cuts, Americans across the country are starting to feel the pinch as well – with many federal programs obliged to make cutbacks that are disproportionately hitting the nation’s most vulnerable,” The Fiscal Times’ Eric Pianin and Brianna Ehley write. “After months of President Obama’s doomsday-like warnings about the adverse impact of sequestration, some of those gloomy forecasts have become reality,” from families being forced onto the streets after losing federal housing subsidies to children losing access to Headstart programs.” Read more at The Fiscal Times

HAGEL GETS TOUGH ON BUDGET   In a speech at the Naval War college on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “outlined how and where the Pentagon would cut costs. He told soldiers and civilians they must accept that the age of bottomless defense spending was over, The Fiscal Times’ David Francis writes. “With this speech, he now seems primed to become the budget hawk Obama envisioned. Whether he can transform the Pentagon in the face of broad institutional opposition remains to be seen.”
Read more at The Fiscal Times

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.