Debt Limit Talks Move To Topic Of Finding Savings In Medicare, Medicaid
In related news, projections released last week by Medicare's chief actuary concluded that spending on physician and hospital services will be significantly higher than expected if Congress reverses scheduled reductions in Medicare payments.
Roll Call: Debt Limit Talks Will Tackle Medicare, Medicaid
Debt ceiling negotiations Tuesday are expected to move to the politically risky terrain of entitlements, according to Congressional leadership aides. Vice President Joseph Biden and Congressional negotiators are slated to restart talks after a weeklong break because of a House recess. While much of the discussions have centered on common ground for budget cutting - such as agriculture subsidies - lawmakers and Biden are going to begin discussing ways to find savings or cuts from Medicare and Medicaid, according to a Congressional leadership aide (Palmer, 5/23).
National Journal: Medicare's Actuary Paints A Darker Picture Than Trustees
Spending on hospital and physician services would be more than three times higher than projected if Congress acts to reverse or phase out scheduled Medicare payment reductions, according to a new analysis that casts doubt on the rosier estimates offered by Medicare's trustees earlier this month. The projections, released late Friday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' independent actuary, show what would happen to the federal health care program in the likely event that Congress reverses a 29 percent physician pay cut in 2012. The illustrative scenario also demonstrates what happens if lawmakers phase out annual cuts to hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies, beginning in 2020 (DoBias, 5/23).