Sequestration puts local entities in limbo
By Stu Merry, BHG News Service
Federal budget cuts that automatically went into effect at midnight this past Saturday as part of the fallout from the government’s budget standoff will have a ripple effect felt at the local level. There’s plenty of finger-pointing. The administration blames Congress, and Congress says it’s the administration’s fault. No matter how it’s sliced, it’s going to adversely impact a number of federally funded programs and agencies in the area. While many entities said they are unsure how deep cuts will be, some facilities already know. Tod Graeber, controller at Garrison Memorial Hospital, said the facility has learned it will receive a 2 percent cut in Medicare payments, and that began this past Saturday. It’s no pocket change. Graeber said that over a year, that equates to approximately $108,000 in lost reimbursement. “It’s a healthy chunk,” he said. Dean Mattern, administrator at the Garrison hospital and Community Memorial Hospital in Turtle Lake, said the amount the Turtle Lake hospital will lose is approximately $300,000.