House Budget Committee Hearing Highlights
The House Budget Committee held a hearing today exploring the sustainability of America’s critical health and retirement security programs – Medicare and Social Security. In testimony before the Committee, the two programs’ Chief Actuaries, Richard Foster and Stephen Goss, underscored the threat posed by the unsustainable status quo and made clear that reform is necessary to ensure the health and retirement security of America’s seniors.
Foster, Medicare’s Chief Actuary, detailed the access problems posed by the price controls under the President’s health care law, and offered greater confidence in the impact of choice and competition to better address health inflation.
Chairman Paul Ryan’s opening statement can be viewed in its entirety here.
Medicare’s Chief Actuary on the Pain of Price Controls
Congressman Tom Price of Georgia asked Medicare's chief actuary Richard Foster about the practical impact of the President's health care law – in which savings are sought by paying providers less for the same amount of care. Under the President’s health care law, according to Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, providers of Medicare services will see cuts to their Medicare reimbursements past the point at which they can reasonably provide care to seniors. Physicians would be reimbursed for their services at roughly 50 cents on the dollar by 2020, and down below 30 cents on the dollar in the years beyond.
If You Like What You’ve Got, You Can Keep It:
Chairman Ryan asked Medicare’s Chief Actuary if health care providers were paid less by Medicare for their services, as the President’s new health care law dictates, would providers be able to stay in business? Mr. Foster’s answer adds weight to the case that the new law must be repealed.
Paul Ryan on Obamacare’s Promises: “You Can’t Have it Both Ways”
Rep. Bill Pascrell, member of the House Budget Committee and proponent of the President’s health care law, sought to make the contradictory claim that the President’s new healthcare law is fully paid for – and yet the major source of savings (the government pays providers less for their services) would not materialize.
Medicare’s Chief Actuary: Premium Support –
The bipartisan premium support model – a version of which was advanced in the House-passed Path to Prosperity – requires providers to compete against each other for patients’ business, rather than continue to lobby a government monopoly for favorable treatment. Premium support reforms ensure that society’s most vulnerable—the poor and the sick— receive more assistance, while the wealthy receive less. Chairman Ryan asked Mr. Foster about his views on the merits of such an approach to strengthen Medicare.
To learn more: