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Critics accuse Dems of waging war on women with home health care cuts

 

While the administration has accused Republicans of waging a war on women for years, critics say Democrats now are waging their own by deeply cutting a home health care program.

The program hires and benefits mostly women, including Janet Connor and her mother, who got home health care when she contracted pneumonia.

"I couldn't have done it without help," Janet  Connor said.

It was over in about a week, when her mother was well.

Dr. David Fisher of Cary, N.C., who makes house calls to seniors, said home health care workers are his first line of defense and help avoid more expensive treatment. "We demonstrated that medical care in the home reduces emergency room visits and hospitalizations," he said.

That is why so many oppose the administration's 14 percent cuts to  home health care over the next four years.

One analysis found they would jeopardize 498,000 jobs, 90 percent held by women, in cuts made to pay for ObamaCare.

Now the jobs losses are starting to pile up-- 3700 in December, 3900 again in February, and hundreds more since.

In recent weeks, in New York, 775 workers were laid off from the largest non-profit home health care provider in the country.  

One of the biggest agencies in Oregon wrote it had to sell to a nursing home chain. And one of the bigger agencies in Wisconsin also is on the verge of closing:

"The president has looked to cut Medicare, to cut our seniors, to get additional revenue to pay for ObamaCare," said Republican congressman Sean Duffy, in whose district the Wisconsin agency operated. "And the bottom line is real: seniors are getting hurt."  

The administration has acknowledged the cuts would force 40 percent of providers into the red, but it simultaneously argued the decision would not have a significant economic impact.

Even a federal agency rejected that argument. The Small Business Administration complained in a six-page letter last year that the cuts were made "without providing a factual basis for the certification..." which, it noted, is required by law.   

In addition, 51 Senators, including 36 key Democrats, wrote  the administration urging it to back off -- but it went ahead anyway.

"When you get 51 Senators, Democrats and Republicans from far different spectrums of the political aisle, come together to urge the administration not to do this to home health care," said Duffy, "you know it’s striking a chord across America."

 

Jim Angle currently serves as chief national correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1996 as a senior White House correspondent.