White House: Republican Budget Pledges Spell Harm for Nursing Home Quality

The White House singled out potential harm to nursing homes in its push for more details on the Republican plan to balance the federal budget.

The comments from the Biden Administration come after GOP leaders pledged to create a plan to balance the budget within a decade. Details on how that would be accomplished have been sparse, but the White House warned that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and deep cuts to Medicaid are likely components of the plan.

These deep cuts and rollback of the ACA would translate to worsening nursing home care and growing waiting lists for home care, the White House said in a memo published on Tuesday.


“Hundreds of thousands” of residents would be at risk for lower quality of care, with more than 60% of this population covered by Medicaid, according to the memo. States would be forced to cut nursing home rates to balance large losses in federal funding, a common recession tactic.

Such budget cuts would fly in the face of progress to raise Medicaid rates across many states, which many operators consider a long overdue positive change as patients enter the setting with higher acuity.

“Research shows that when nursing homes are paid less, residents get worse care,” White House officials wrote.


Plans to balance the budget would involve trillions of dollars in program cuts – it’s unclear where these cuts would come from, the White House said in its memo.

“The American people deserve to see congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan, including what it cuts from the ACA and Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, and other critical programs, and should have the chance to compare it with the President’s budget plan, which he will release March 9,” said White House officials.

The latest comments from the White House come amid the Biden’s administration’s push, launched about one year ago, for comprehensive nursing home reform, including a federal minimum staffing mandate and increased transparency over facility ownership.

Companies featured in this article: