Independent analysts like Mendelson doubt that a 2 percent Medicare cut to hospitals would be catastrophic, but say it will cost jobs somewhere.
Even if there is a budget deal, the squeeze will be on.
The administration has proposed $400 billion in health care cuts so far in the budget talks, coming mainly from Medicare spending. That’s only a starting point as far as Republicans are concerned. They also want to pare back Medicaid and Obama’s health care law, and have also sought an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare.