"If we do nothing and go over the cliff, the reimbursement for doctors and hospitals for treating Medicare patients, January first, will be reduced by 27%," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
It's something he doesn't want to see. He met with media outside his Springfield home to talk about it. "What it means is that many doctors and hospitals will say we just can't afford to treat them. That would be a catastrophe. These folks need this treatment, and to see that happen, when it could be avoided is a terrible thing," said Durbin.
The Illinois Hospital Association says that's just the top of the ice burg. It put together a report about the dreaded fiscal cliff. Hospitals could stand to lose billions of dollars. That's because Medicare payments would be reduced. Healthcare jobs would also suffer; nearly 20,000 would be lost in the first year alone.
Senator Durbin says none of this is acceptable, especially since he thinks it could be avoided. But what will happen, remains to be seen. As for now, talks continue in Washington D.C.