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Medicare, Medicaid Will Be Affected by Federal Debt Default

Failure to raise debt ceiling by Oct. 17 will impact nation's health care programs

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Failure to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 will have a substantial effect on health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, according to a report published by the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Emergency measures enacted by the Treasury Department in May 2013 will run out on Oct. 17, 2013, at which point all spending will be on hold until sufficient tax revenues are collected to cover pending financial obligations.

If lawmakers do not raise the debt ceiling, thereby allowing the Treasury to cover the government's current monthly expenses, there will be significant effects on the nation's health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.

"The AAFP believes that action must be taken to prevent dramatic reductions in payments to family physicians who provide care to these vulnerable patients," according to the report.

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