It's a federal program that's been around since Lyndon Johnson was president in 19-65. But with tight fiscal times the federal government is trying to cut back on Medicare funding. And in particular funding to hospitals that employ physicians. "The biggest problem is its disproportionate hurt in other words this isn't pain that's spread around to hospitals across the United States. It's pain that is disproportionately felt by institutions such as ours, which in our case we employ all our physicians so every one of those 700,000 visits is to a hospital based physician and every Medicare visit would be impacted." The proposed legislation would cut Medicare funding by 27% and here at Bassett Medical Center that means millions in federal funding. "This is not new for us to be looking at things but the magnitude in particular cut would be so substantial that we would have to be looking at all kinds of things and I can't really outline specific services and specific clinics that would be in jeopardy but clearly we would have to take at, the impact would be devastating." On the surface it appears doctors will be affected but experts say in the end its the patients that will hurt the most. "If you detract for the ability of those physicians to practice, fi there are fewer of them practicing then that safety net really becomes eroded for patients who need that care the most."