Bipartisan duo battles administration’s cuts to children’s hospitals

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Bipartisan duo battles administration’s cuts to children’s hospitals

The Hill – Sens. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) are teaming up to prevent the Obama administration’s proposed cuts to children’s teaching hospitals, The Hill has learned.

The senators’ staffs have held meetings with each other and with advocates, but they’ve yet to decide how to proceed.

“I’m very supportive of the program, but we haven’t finished the discussions to know exactly which way we’re going,” Isakson told The Hill on Thursday. “I’m not fighting to increase spending but to keep the importance of the program in front of the committees that will make the right decisions that they can. But all programs have to be on the table to look at.”

President Obama’s proposed budget for FY 2012 would end the $300 million annual appropriation for graduate medical education at children’s hospitals. Children’s hospitals rely on that funding to train their residents because they don’t get funded through Medicare patients like adult hospitals do.

Isakson’s district includes nationally recognized Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a group of three hospitals providing care in more than 30 pediatric specialties such as neurology and gastroenterology.

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