Advocacy Action Alert - Help is Needed to Protect Medicare and Medicaid Funding Jul 15, 2011 Contributor: St. Joseph Health System Urgent help is needed to Protect Medicare and Medicaid Funding ACTION NEEDED: Please consider contacting your congressional representatives and urge them to object to cuts to hospital funding as part of the debt ceiling negotiations. Urge them to oppose proposals that will lead to large reductions to Medicare and Medicaid funding. BACKGROUND: As you have probably heard, Congressional action is necessary by August 2 to prevent the nation from reaching its debt limit and defaulting on its financial obligations. Legislation to increase the national debt limit also will be the legislative vehicle for landmark efforts to reduce the federal deficit through spending cuts and/or tax increases. Several proposals include spending caps or triggers for across-the-board spending cuts that will lead to large reductions in Medicare and Medicaid funding. Over 50% of patients seen in hospitals are either on Medicare or Medicaid. Further cuts to these two programs will have a very negative impact on the ability of hospitals to operate and serve their communities. Your help is needed now.