Administration Touts Medicare Savings Report; Republicans Complain It Misleads Seniors
The Hill: A report issued Monday by the Obama administration found that the new health care law "will save Medicare $8 billion by the end of 2011, and $575 billion over the next decade, largely by improving care quality and preventing waste and fraud." The report also predicts that the overhaul will "extend the life of the program more than a decade. ... In 2009, the Medicare trustees projected that Medicare's hospital trust fund would run dry by 2017. CMS now says that fund is sustainable through 2029.
Conservative critics immediately dismissed the CMS report as a politically motivated attempt to sell health reform to seniors. They noted that Richard Foster, the chief CMS actuary who crunched many of the figures cited Monday, has been wary of the agency's accounting methods" (Lillis, 8/2).
ExecutiveGov: "The Obama administration report states that the healthcare reform will strengthen Medicare, as opposed to Republicans' concerns that spending cuts will undermine the system" (Mulrain, 8/2).
McKnight's Long Term Care News, on how Medicare expects to get savings: "CMS is working to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions, establish the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and create an Independent Payment Advisory Board. Other provisions in the Affordable Care Act aim to fight waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare. Savings to Medicare will rise to more than $575 billion over the next decade, CMS said. Also, beneficiaries should expect to see savings of about $200 a year on what their Medicare Part B premiums would have been without the new law-and about the same in reduced cost sharing, according to CMS" (8/3).
PBS NewsHour includes an interview between host Judy Woodruff and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the "latest health care reform developments and what consumers may see next." Sebelius spoke about how the government has been overcharged by 14 percent for Medicare Advantage plans and how it would create savings by reducing payments to those private Medicare plans. She also spoke about seniors and the health care reform debate: "Well, when you think about what happened to seniors during the course of this debate, it borders on outrageous. Seniors, I would say, were really targeted with a whole series of misinformed statements that were designed to scare them about the law, to get them to actually call on their members of Congress and Senate to stop it, starting with everything from death panels, which still most seniors think are part of the Affordable Care Act" (8/2).