Turning Off the Medicare Trigger: Worse Than Doing Nothing

Despite their repeated claims of fiscal “responsibility,” the Democratic leadership has scheduled a vote rejecting even consideration of a proposal to slow the unsustainable growth of Medicare spending. The resolution, expected on the floor Thursday, would turn off an automatic “trigger” that requires the administration and Congress to address the Medicare Trustees’ warning of Medicare’s fiscal problems. The administration has done its part, but the Democratic leaders continue to stifle any potential reform. Instead, the House Rules Committee has reported H.Res. 1368, which turns off the trigger for the remainder of this Congress, preventing a vote on any substantive reform legislation.

The House would have needed to come up with just $1.5 billion in savings in the Medicare Program in 1 year to satisfy the trigger requirement – a 0.2-percent savings in Medicare outlays in 2013. By turning off the trigger, the Democratic leaders are actively working to defeat efforts to reform Medicare – and because this is the first time the trigger has been pulled, the Democratic leaders’ actions set a dangerous precedent for the Medicare Program and the U.S. economy.

Read the full report here.