Trustees: Medicare Hospital Fund Extended 12 Years

Inquiring minds are reading that the savings advertised by the Obama administration found in the Healthcare Overhaul may not be…as advertised!

A report on the financial condition of the Medicare and Social Security programs contends the Obama administration’s sweeping health care overhaul will extend the life of the Medicare hospital insurance fund by 12 years – an assertion that Medicare’s top numbers-cruncher disputed.

The report acknowledged in its own right that the brighter outlook for Medicare assumes achievement of significant savings in health care, a scenario critics argue is highly questionable. And in what amounted to a dissenting opinion, top Medicare actuary Richard Foster warned that the report’s financial projections “do not represent a reasonable expectation.”

This group’s report highlights the distorted and illlogical conclusions of the Obama administration’s projected savings:

Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, said in a statement included in the report that the Medicare savings might not be realistic.

He said the projections were based on current law, which calls for payments to doctors to be cut by 23 percent this December and by a combined 30 percent over the next three years, an outcome that Foster called “an implausible result.”

Congress has for years voted to put more money in the Medicare program to keep such sharp cuts in doctor’s payments from occurring.

Foster said that the report also makes overly optimistic assumptions about the amount of savings that hospitals and other major providers will be able to achieve by operating more efficiently.

“For these reasons, the financial projections shown in the report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range … or the long range,” Foster wrote.

So…doctors and hospitals are already leaving the program because of not being paid enough and the government says that further savings will occur by reducing doctor and hospital compensation. Seems perfectly logical to me [dripping sarcasm].


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