Medicare cut must be stopped

To the Editor:

Traveling around the state as the president of the Ohio Federation of Republican Women (OFRW) has opened my eyes to many things. First and foremost is the dramatic impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on our local economies and families. While the virus itself comes with unfortunate pain and impact, the precautions and regulations put in place also have had dramatic consequences. Rural hospitals and practitioners are at the forefront of that hit.

Just as many of these health care systems are beginning to recover, another huge concern has arisen. In January 2021, the federal government is scheduled to cut reimbursement rates for Medicare. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has adopted a new rule that will change how physicians are reimbursed for certain services, which will undercut many practitioners and result in loss of pay. This will especially hurt cash-strapped hospitals and clinics in rural and under served communities all over Ohio, including here in Miami County.

Congress has the ability to stop this destructive pay cut from being implemented, and to save the rural hospitals that so many of us depend on for livelihood, health, and quality of life. I ask Senator Portman and our congressional delegation to reconsider this rate change.

— Mary Beth Kemmer