KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CMS Actuary Offers Bleak Picture For Medicare Solvency

During congressional testimony, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief Actuary Richard Foster also offered dark predictions for hospitals' future profitability.

Politico Pro: Chief Actuary Paints Bleak Medicare Future
Medicare's finances are heading off a cliff faster than the recent trustees' report suggests, and while provisions in the Affordable Care Act may postpone a free-fall, the law does not fundamentally alter the program's course toward a fiscal abyss. That's the takeaway from CMS chief actuary Rick Foster's testimony at a House Budget Committee hearing Wednesday, in which Republicans drove home familiar concerns about the program's long-term insolvency while Democrats drew attention to some of the more optimistic projections for how ACA might help (Norman, 7/13).

Modern Healthcare: Risk To Hospital Profitability Highlighted
Medicare's senior accountant highlighted in congressional testimony Wednesday a little-noted prediction that 40 percent of hospitals will become unprofitable by 2050 under a provision of the health care reform law, which will cause them to drop out of the program or go bankrupt. The comments of Richard Foster, chief actuary for the CMS, on a profitability projection included in a 2011 Medicare trustees report came in response to questions about the largest looming impacts on providers by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the Budget Committee, during a hearing on Medicare (Daly, 7/13).

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