By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, APWASHINGTON - Hospitals, doctors and other Medicare providers are on the hook for a 2 percent cut under looming government spending reductions.
But they're not raising a ruckus. Why not?
The reason is the pain could be a lot worse if President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress actually did reach a big deal to slash federal deficits.
The automatic cuts taking effect Friday reduce Medicare spending by about $100 billion over a decade.
But Obama had put on the table $400 billion in health care cuts, mainly from Medicare. And Republicans wanted more.
What the industry was really worried about was a huge deficit bill that could target Medicare for $400 billion or $500 billion.