Medicare Chief Rebukes GOP Plan To Overhaul Medicare
Speaking at the American Hospital Association's annual meeting, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick said Medicare was "viable" and the cuts to the program were not the answer to reducing the deficit.
The Hill: Medicare Chief Defends Program As 'Viable'
The nation's top Medicare official on Monday rebuked the House GOP's plan to radically overhaul the health care program for seniors. Medicare Administrator Don Berwick, who told reporters on Monday he hadn't seen the specifics of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) Medicare overhaul, said lawmakers need to find the "political will" to maintain the program's current structure while finding additional savings. "I think Medicare system now is viable, it can improve, and that's my commitment to help do that," Berwick told reporters. Berwick, speaking to the American Hospital Association's (AHA) annual meeting, cited health care reform's new accountable care organization regulations, its focus on rewarding quality care and a new Medicare innovation center as major tools built into the overhaul to help control cost (Millman, 4/11).
CQHealthBeat: Berwick Wants Changes in Health Care, Not Cuts
As the president prepares to announce a long-term plan for reducing the deficit that includes savings from entitlement programs, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that the country is at a crossroads when it comes to health care costs and it shouldn't take the path that includes cuts. ... Berwick added that lowering costs "by cutting or withholding care is bad for patients, it's bad for business and it's bad for the country and it's unnecessary if we change." In the category of change, Medicare recently unveiled proposed rules for accountable care organizations created by the health care law, which are intended to improve care and lower costs by encouraging the formation of teams of providers (Norman, 4/11).