Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama takes credit for healthier Medicare

By Scott Wilson
President Obama on Saturday took credit for placing Medicare on a more certain fiscal path and pledged to American seniors that they would see more help soon paying for drug costs in a direct appeal to an important segment of the midterm electorate.

Citing a report issued this week by the Medicare trustees, Obama said the health-care overhaul he pushed through Congress this year has added at least a dozen years to Medicare's solvency. Obama also reminded seniors in his weekly radio and Internet address that they are now eligible for a $250 prescription drug rebate under the health-care law.

Next year, seniors who fall within the so-called doughnut hole - a gap in Medicare drug coverage - will qualify for a 50 percent discount on all prescription drugs. He said the hole will be closed entirely once the health-care measure kicks in fully over the next several years.

"Medicare is stronger and more secure," he said in the address. "That's important because Medicare isn't just a program. It's a commitment to America's seniors - that after working your whole life, you've earned the security of quality health care you can afford."

Seniors traditionally make up a large percentage of midterm election voters, and polls have shown them to be among the most uncertain about the consequences of Obama's health-care overhaul. His message to them Saturday was a clear one - that they have nothing to fear, and much to gain, from what he and the Democratic-controlled Congress have achieved.

Republicans plan to hold up the health-care measure as a symbol of what they say is Obama's fixation with government solutions to problems they believe could be better solved by the private sector.

As disappointing job numbers were released this week, many Republicans cited the health-care overhaul - often referred to by critics as Obama's "takeover" of nearly a fifth of the U.S, economy - as a reason the recovery has remained sluggish.

Obama listed a number of other benefits seniors will soon see as a result of the reform, including free preventative care. He said he expected seniors to save an average of $200 a year in premiums and $200 a year in out of pocket costs under the health care measure.

"So we are no longer accepting business as usual," Obama said. "We're making tough decisions to meet the challenges of our time."

By Scott Wilson  |  August 7, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Democrats bring back, bash Bush
Next: The Sunday Roundup


Let's see what Obama is selling us: Oh,yeah, he wants us to believe the folks he put into cushy jobs.

And he wants us to believe that taking $500 billion out of Medicare will help strengthen it.

Meanwhile, the Congress is cutting the amount to be paid for doctors through Medicare. So, what we have is:

1) $500 billion less money in Medicare over the next 10 years.

2) Lower Medicare payments to doctors.

I see, Obama has made it stronger by taking money out of Medicare.

What a novel concept. Let's take all the money out and really make it stronger.

No way, Obama, we don't buy your scam.

Posted by: RonKH | August 10, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

What the President won't say is that he and his Congressional enablers let stand the so called Doc Fix to restore approximately $300 Billion in cut reimbursements to Drs. In order to keep his vaunted health care reform plan from being derailed by his own promises of not adding to the long-term deficit (HA!HA!) they removed that little piece of corrective legislation from the total bill with the idea of passing it separately at a later date. So the facts are that there is yet about another $300 billion +\- that will have to be added as an expense somewhere so as to avoid an unsustainable 20% cut in Drs. re-imbursements under Medicare that will, if left unrepaired, lead to a major reduction in the number of Drs. who will accept Medicare patients and a concomitant reduction in the quality of that care.

As I write this it looks as if the fix will be a 6 month “patch” to the system in hopes that if the Republicans do take over control of either the House or the Senate (or both) come November they can be attacked by the Dems for passing the real fix down the line. Of course by delaying the real fix they are just increasing the total cost because of the way in which those necessary reimbursement rates are calculated.

Mr. Obama can keep shuffling the cups all he wants, but eventually the American voter will get a good long look at the massive deficit peanut he's been hiding in shell game. Both Parties have figured out what a great fund raising machine the Internet can be, but they still don’t understand that it’s real power is the swiftness and the breadth of it’s information gathering and dissemination ability and all that goes with that.

Posted by: Sproing | August 9, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama is cooking the books and twisting the numbers to make it look good. The truth is they are taking away Medicare Advantage, taking 1/2 Tillion from Medicare, and using it twice, once to "save" and another to "spend" on Obamacare, a new Entitlement Program we can't afford. It also assumes a 30% cut in doctor's pay, a cut in pay to hospitals and Nursing Homes for those that treat Medicare patients. How will seniors be able to find a docotor or a hosptital? Obamacare is horrible. 70% of those in Missouri voted against it in a referendum held last week. 20 States are sueing against it.

Posted by: joanz3 | August 9, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I am sure the $200.00 dollars a year ($16.66 per month) is really helping those seniors out. I believe everybody has enjoyed tax breaks, credits, etc. not just the rich. Let's just focus on the real issue...politicians that like to spend money we don't have need to go, Dems and Repub. Just push for a balanced budget, taking care of the seniors and children and the rest of you get a job. As for johnnyk1, I think you need to check your numbers out. 750,000 jobs lost each month as stated in your reminders is wrong. If that were the case, which it wasn't, that would bring the total jobs cut to 72,000,000 during Bush's tenure. In fact during the recovery from 2003 to 2008 there were approx. 8,000,000 jobs created. Understanding the economy has its ups and downs is one thing, but to give false numbers (reminders) is something different! Be American vote for the best person, not a PARTY!

Posted by: tiredofalltheBStalkfromu | August 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I would like to remind people how it was under Bush and the Republicans...

1/750,000 jobs lost each month

2/ Wall street meltdown. America went into a recession and almost into a depression.

3/ 2 endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan..No exit plan...

4/1.7 trillion dollar tax cut for the rich(top 2%) of that you....Not payed for. It added to the debt...

This is the BUSH/REPUBLICAN legacy. This is what they want to return to. Your choice America. You better think long and hard if you want America to go back to the BUSH years....

Posted by: johnnyk1 | August 9, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

It is a clear choice this November. If you want to go back to the Bush policies vote Republican. This is their platform. They want to go back to Bush's policies. If you think we are heading in the right direction vote Democrat. It is either going back to Bush with the Republicans or moving forward with Obama and the Democrats. Your choice America.....

Posted by: johnnyk1 | August 9, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine anyone stupid enough to believe that medicare is going to be stronger. Now they are lowering medicare payments to doctors significantly and believe there will be any doctors left taking medicare patients.
No one wants this pathetic Obama care and if I were in medicare I would be screaming at the top of my lungs. I want elected fiscal conservatives that will repeal this stupid bill. The people in my little sphere of influence are not mad about it. They are livid and motivated to get these nuts out of office. We are sick of the lies.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 7, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama reminds me of a football player who rides the bench during the Super Bowl, but when the game is over he's out there saying "I'm going to Disney World".

Posted by: NoMoeEntitlements | August 7, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Worst . . . President . .. EVER!

Posted by: scatem | August 7, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

But, Why is The Anti-Christ Obama Destroying America. If you truly want to know what is going on; Then you will have to accept these things as the TRUTH. Once you understand the following things; All things will be understood. So I tell you Obama is Satan on Earth, Lawless One, or what ever else you want to call this Demonic Figure. His words describe him, He is a False Hope, If you listen to him you will love him. He carries a Bow without an Arrow. He will conquer all through his speech, his false hoods will capture all who sit and listen to him.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Posted by: makom | August 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

a dozen years from now, I'll be on Medicare. So we shall see.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 7, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

FACT: Universal Nationalized Single Payer Health Care will SAVE the American people (thus US Gov) $1+Trillion per Year!!
While giving every American health care for the Taxes that we (already) pay, plus may be $5 per doctor visit as in Canada or UK, etc..

Where does the fact come from that Universal Nationalized Single Payer Health Care will SAVE American people (thus US Gov) $1+Trillion per Year? Because in every European country, Canada, Israel, Japan, etc. whom ALL have Universal Nationalized Health Care, health care on average is taking about 9% of the GDP, while the US for profit health care is taking 18% of the GDP, here:

So then we must face these FACTs:

1) Republicans are utter complete lying lunatics, that is they say they want to "reduce the Deficits", "they are worried about the debt bomb..", etc. But if you really want to really reduce the Deficits then you would be for Universal single payer health care. And that is why the Conservative party in UK, the Conservative party in France, Conservative party in Canada, the Conservative party in Germany, etc. are 100% for their Universal nationalized health care systems.

2) Democrats are not that much better than Republican lunatics since they are not proposing Universal Nationalized Single Payer Health Care, hek not even a real Public option. Instead they have proposed this so called Health Care reform that forces us to buy health care from the same for profit health care companies that have brought us the current bankrupting health care system, hek it does not even end the MURDEROUS practice of denying people health care because they need health care (aka Pre-existing conditions) until 2013 which means at least 200,000 more Americans will be KILLED by then due to the Pre-existing condition MONSTROSITY of EVIL.

More here:

Posted by: Thinkdeeper | August 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What added years to Medicare solvency was more Obama Democrats spending. Remember the $26 billon bill to save jobs in education and other areas of State and Local government? The fact was over looked in the news article or hidden that over half of the $26 billion did not go for jobs, but to cover States’ Medicare services.

The news article went on to say that the U.S. economy is so fragile that if the Obama Democrats did not save these government jobs, it could knock the nation’s wobbly recovery off-course.

Put two and two together and you get “peanut shell game” of Obama’s national health law drain on Medicare compensated by $14 - $16 billion of total of $26 billion that was suppose to be appropriated for jobs.

This is very bad and under handed Democrat politics. Vote Republican for Trustworthy Government.

Posted by: klausdmk | August 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Not a word about Medicare's Chief Actuary report that says Obama and the trustees report is garbage. Can anything Obama says be believed?

Posted by: archie521 | August 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The choice of a new generation




Posted by: ccshopping301 | August 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Who is crazy enough to believe this clueless president? My insurance premiums just went up increase in social security, though...and if he helps his union buddies any more, all food expenses and everything else will increase....time to help ease this blithering idiot out of office!!!

Posted by: SeniorVet | August 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Many of the newer, low-cost private sector plans are a charade, because they don't pay beyond a certain set amount per year. Whereas Medicaid and the traditional plans have a deductible on the low end, and afterwards pay everything. Conservatives would rather see individual people face bankruptcy, than have true insurance which pays most costs. Ultimately, the only way such a plan will work, however, is for the Congress to nationalize the health insurance companies, so that they can operate as non-profit cooperatives the way Blue Cross did 30 years ago before health insurance was privatized. It was the privatization of health insurance, more than any other factor, that drove up costs as shareholders and corporate officers demanded higher profits. These profits were paid for - not through operating efficiencies, but by slashing coverage, raising deductibles and dumping riskier patients from being covered. We won't have real health insurance reform until for-profit health insurance companies are eliminated. Despite its problems with fraud, Medicare has the lowest overhead of any health insurance program in the country. It could be a model of what a nationalized health insurance program could look like, if it were allowed to control doctor salaries, prescription prices and malpractice insurance costs like other similar programs do in other countries. Unless you take all these steps to eliminate the for-profits and to control costs, something closer to universal coverage will never be achievable at an affordable cost.

Posted by: stillaliberal | August 7, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

These "reform unpopular" canards from Media Inc. are perfect to set up defeat of clueless GOP'ers in the fall. They are out of touch enough to swallow it.

"You know, Wage Americans really don't want a way to be able to afford health insurance. And those who have it on the job, don't mind losing it and ending up one illness away from financial ruin when they get fired. And also, Americans by the tens of millions, don't mind being locked out by insurers because they are sick..."

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | August 7, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Lies lies and more lies- my wife cannot get an epogen shot anymore until she is so fatigue that I now have to drive her to the kidney clinic because Medicare has lowered the blood count number before they will pay for the epogen shot. Thanks Mr. Obama but no thanks. Medicare is also paying much less for renal failure related medical needs, I now pay 500 percent per month more in kidney related cost plus our monthly Medicare premiums have increased. You say this better medical care!! Thanks again - not. I am voting against ALL incumbents.

Posted by: rbarkey | August 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

i dont think u guys would care as much if John McCain was president, Republicans need to cut the sh*t this healthcare overhual has nothing to do with the job numbers for July, Republicans are just upset that a GOP president wasnt behind this overhual

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | August 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Ha! Ha! This guy Obama is a real comedian. He is going to cut Medicare expenses, less cash for Medicare, which will surely translate into service cuts and he wants a gold star.
Well I am a senior citizen who has just started using my Medicare Health insurance for the first time this year at age 66. Yes my Medicare insurance. I pre-paid it. I retired from working every day after 48 years and have contributed to Medicare every year since it began. That would be the summer of 1965. That would be 45 years of pre-paid contributions. Now the SOB, Obama, wants to cut the flow of cash to the program which we all know will lead to lower quality and less access.
I don't want to hear any crap about it being a pay-as-you-go type program. That is not my fault it was the stupidity of the elected officials. Madoff went to jail for that. The called his Pay-as-you-go-system a Ponzi scheme. That is what Social Security and Medicare are.
The man is insane. A regular "Crazy Eddie".

Posted by: nychap44 | August 7, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's deal with Big Pharma prevented us from being able to order prescription meds from Canada and Mexico. You could save $250 on one prescription if we were not getting screwed so bad by the drug companies. In exchange they helped to sell Obamacare to the gullible public - a sucker born every minute.

Now the Obama Administration is covering up the dangers of the deadly toxic dispersants BP dumped into the Gulf. Big Pharma and Big Oil have Obama by the cajones.
I still buy my Crestor from Canada! If they want to arrest me for saving half or more so be it! Obama sold us out to PHARMA! But like most dems, they are for it as long as they do not have to pay for it! Public and Private sector unions are growing daily as a Greece like moment is coming soon! We have to cut these public sector wages and benefits before it is too late!! When you can retire with a pension worth more than your last years income we have serious problems!

Posted by: usmc1969 | August 7, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Ernestoman: You object to Republican nation-building. Ok, fine. But, is there some reason you don't mention that the Democrats in Congress helped to provide the money for it? Congress has to provide funding, and the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.

The Democratic Congress still provides the money the White House wants for military spending - and insists on offering more.

The Defense Secretary, a Republican holdover, wants LESS money for some dubious weapons programs.

But, Democrats want those weapons simply because they provide jobs for constituents.

It's fine to condemn Republican spending. But, the Democrats play that game too, and you give them a pass.

Posted by: vrytix | August 7, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama's deal with Big Pharma prevented us from being able to order prescription meds from Canada and Mexico. You could save $250 on one prescription if we were not getting screwed so bad by the drug companies. In exchange they helped to sell Obamacare to the gullible public - a sucker born every minute.

Now the Obama Administration is covering up the dangers of the deadly toxic dispersants BP dumped into the Gulf. Big Pharma and Big Oil have Obama by the cajones.

Posted by: alance | August 7, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry...but anymore I just don't believe a danged thing this guy says. In fact, I'd feel safe to assume the opposite of what he says. After seeing his ratings in the latest polls, it appears I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Posted by: jeepmanjr | August 7, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Any program that is cut $500,000,000,000 should last a bit longer. Question really is will all of congress, senate and all government workers be on Obamacare by 2014? The unions have till 2018! How about you?
Now, will abortions be covered via back door and what about illegals who will soon be legalized by vote or by pardon! Have we
forgotten those 20,000,000 plus their families?

Posted by: usmc1969 | August 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Before we dump money to the DoD on expensive and questionable conflicts overseas and the GOP's idea of nation building we need to first look at our own quality of life and put that first. The $$$ going to these overseas expeditions could be better spent on new infrastructure projects employing people though contracted companies that are awarded contracts. Not everyone can work in the defense industries making all this money on the wars.

Posted by: ernestoman | August 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice talk about the "intelligentsia," Barbi520.

All it takes is reading comprehension to know that the report itself says those particular numbers are bogus. All it takes is a simple understanding of the English language to understand what the Chief Actuary of Medicare says.

So why don't you understand, Barbi?

Posted by: asdf2 | August 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Rick Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare:

"There is a strong likelihood that the cost projections in the new trustees report under current law understate the actual future cost that Medicare will face. A strong likelihood," he says. "I've gone so far as to say that I don't think it's a reasonable projection of what will really happen."

Posted by: moebius22 | August 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I am a senior and a lifelong democrat. This president reduced interest rates so that my savings return 0%. He GAVE the money to the banks and wall street. These guys robbed the system for billions and not one of them went to jail. Their penalty was to be given billions more. Now he wants me to vote for Democrats. I do not think so. Get off the campaign trail Mr. President. It will not do you, the country or the party any good. If you think I am going to forget or forgive what you and the Dems have done, think again. You can Bush all you want, it is you and your party who have made George Bush look almost good.

Posted by: gvelanis | August 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

wow there are nothing but right wing lunatics commenting on these pages. shows what kind of readership the WP now attracts. Not exactly the intelligentsia

Posted by: Barbi520 | August 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"There is a strong likelihood that the cost projections in the new trustees report under current law understate the actual future cost that Medicare will face. A strong likelihood," he says. "I've gone so far as to say that I don't think it's a reasonable projection of what will really happen."


Some report. How did the Washington Post miss this?

Posted by: moebius22 | August 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

well he should have taken credit since the annual report from the trustees of medicare and social security said that the healthcare overhaul was the reason for the extra twelve years.

You act like he was taking credit for something he shouldn't have. The WP is really
a lousy newspaper.

Posted by: Barbi520 | August 7, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse


Don't count on "Government Insurance Policies" being accepted by your medical practitioner!!! Texas doctors have already gotten the ball rolling!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 7, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mabe if the lieing, thieving, Thugs in Congress had not borrowed(sic)funds out of medicare and never paid it back It would not be going broke. An now the biggest liar Bozobama is claiming he fixed it??

Give me a break

There should be a investigation of who was in office when these funds were taken and they should get some jail time and lose all gov. benifits.
That might send a message to those Thugs in office(Until Nov)now

Posted by: myword1 | August 7, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that he refers to a report that everyone knows is bogus. Even the Trustees acknowledged that the proposed Medicare cuts that will put Medicare on a more "sustainable" path are dependent on action by Congress and we know that those cuts will not come to pass. Addtionally, the Medicare actuary did not join in the report and has declared the savings dubious. To claim sustainability is like declaring "mission accomplished" and we know how that one turned out.

Posted by: fwillyhess | August 7, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Bragging about failure.

Why don't you TELL US about how great cash for clunkers was?

Why don't you tell us about how the unemployment won't rise?

Why don't you tell us about diplomacy with iran?

Just TELL US what to think.... cause WE ARE CONFUSED about how great obama is.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

More pontification from a guy who in all likelihood has never read the legislation. He just reads speeches written about the legislation. So what's he going to do about Medicare's current unfunded liability of $38 trillion much less the ongoing fraud? Nothing.

Posted by: judithod | August 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Bragging about failure.

Why don't you TELL US about how great cash for clunkers was?

Why don't you tell us about how the unemployment won't rise?

Why don't you tell us about diplomacy with iran?

Just TELL US what to think.... cause WE ARE CONFUSED about how great obama is.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Obama - go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all full up here.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | August 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the worst liar I have seen in awhile, other than the Washington Post.

Both the Washington Post and Obama must believe that people who vote for democrats are just too stupid to read the whole report.

Pathetic reporting Washingto Post.

Posted by: robtr | August 7, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

That only works if you continue the double counting of cuts and spending identified when it passed.

Does the President even realize that he is doing more to lower his own credibility than he is to help Democrats with the fall campaign.

How much he does not get it is starting to get scary.

Posted by: TECWRITE | August 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama is full of crap. MediCare will be even more unsustainable then it was before. CANT ANYONE DO MATH?

Posted by: brucewla | August 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Good thing the Post is busy printing press releases from the Obama administration.

Here, on the other hand, is an actual quote from the report:

"...the financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable)."

Once again, pathetic, Washington Post. Tell me again why you are losing subscribers?

Posted by: asdf2 | August 7, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Obama, well done!

Posted by: blazertaco | August 7, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse






Posted by: twotimetuna | August 7, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The Chief Actuary for Medicare says in the same report that the cost-saving assumptions of the Trustees - like doctor's reimbursement being cut 30% over the next several years - are ridiculous.

For some reason this fact is "overlooked" in just about all MSM reporting.

There's a difference between "reporting" and "stenography".

Reporting is what you do when there's a Republican administration.

Stenography is what you do when there's a Democratic.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 7, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Obama also created a Cat Food Deficit Commission filled with Social Security and Medicare & Medicaid haters ready to gut the social safety net for seniors. His ObamaCare program will cut $500 billion out of Medicare and redirect it to the Medicaid program and the new exchanges.

Obama clearly told the Cat Food Commission it was suppose to suggest ways to reduce "spending" on entitlement programs ... that means Medicare and Social Security.

There is only one way to reduce spending and that is to CUT benefits.

As him why he didn't make Social Security and Medicare off limits to the Cat Food Deficit Commission if he cares soo much about seniors.

Posted by: cautious | August 7, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Well this is not what the doctors and people on medicare I know are telling me...

Posted by: Homemom | August 7, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Well this is not what the doctors and people on medicare I know are telling me...

Posted by: Homemom | August 7, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Well this is not what the doctors and people on medicare I know are telling me...

Posted by: Homemom | August 7, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The President would be wise to say nothing. The public is convinced that he cut Medicare to give free care to minorities. That is what the underreported Missouri vote confirms. Now he seems to be taking credit for saving money by cutting Medicare.

Posted by: jhough1 | August 7, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

What this article does not say is that the Trustees are cabinet members: the Secretary of Labor, Secretary of HHS and the SS Commissioner. The non-fed trustee positions are vacant. I watched a panel on this subject on CSPAN yesterday. There are many uncertains and alot of concern about the bill.

With that said, the report is not an overwhelming endorsement. Below is a portion of the report. I advise everyone to go to the link in this article and read the overview.

"The Affordable Care Act improves the financial outlook for Medicare substantially. However, the effects of some of the new law’s provisions on Medicare are not known at this time, with the result that the projections are much more uncertain than normal, especially in the longer-range future. For example, the ACA initiative for aggressive research and development has the potential to reduce Medicare costs in the future; however, as specific reforms have not yet been designed, tested, or evaluated, their ability to reduce costs cannot be estimated at this time, and thus no specific savings have been reflected in this report for the initiative.
Another important example involves lower payment rate updates to most categories of Medicare providers in 2011 and later. These updates will be adjusted downward by the increase in productivity experienced in the economy overall. Since the provision of health services tends to be labor-intensive and is often customized to match individuals’ specific needs, most categories of health providers have not been able to improve their productivity to the same extent as the economy at large. Over time, the productivity adjustments mean that the prices paid for health services by Medicare will grow about 1.1 percent per year more slowly than the increase in prices that providers must pay to purchase the goods and services they use to provide health care services. Unless providers could reduce their cost per service correspondingly, through productivity improvements or other steps, they would eventually become unwilling or unable to treat Medicare beneficiaries.
It is possible that providers can improve their productivity, reduce wasteful expenditures, and take other steps to keep their cost growth within the bounds imposed by the Medicare price limitations. Similarly, the implementation of payment and delivery system reforms, facilitated by the ACA research and development program, could help constrain cost growth to a level consistent with the lower Medicare payments. These outcomes are far from certain, however. Many experts doubt the feasibility of such sustained improvements and anticipate that over time the Medicare price constraints would become unworkable and that Congress would likely override them."

Posted by: bethg1841 | August 7, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company