How Obama Hits Health Providers in Deficit Plan

Merrill Goozner

First published 9/21/11 in The Fiscal Times

President Obama’s populist message on taxes was replicated on the health savings side of his deficit-reduction plan, which would cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid by $320 billion over the next decade and $1 trillion in the following decade.

The bulk of the savings would come from companies that provide goods and services to the programs. Payments to drug companies would be slashed by $135 billion by offering seniors in Medicare the same discounts currently mandated for poor people in Medicaid. An additional $42 billion in program savings would be achieved by reducing payments to nursing homes and home health care agencies.

Continue reading “How Obama Hits Health Providers in Deficit Plan”

Second Opinions on Obama’s Medicare Plans

Jonathan Cohn

First posted 9/20/11 on Citizen Cohn, Jonathan Cohn’s blog at the New Republic site.

The numbers in President Obama’s new plan for health care spending can be confusing, so how about a picture? Or, at least, a pie chart? The terrific one you see comes from Igor Volsky, at Think Progress, and it breaks down the sources of Medicare savings in the deficit reduction package.

Continue reading “Second Opinions on Obama’s Medicare Plans”

The Debt Deal: There Will Be Blood on the Floor on November 23rd

Robert Laszewski

First posted 8/1/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

073111_leadersinternalThe debt deal is finally done. But it really isn’t an agreement on what cuts will be made, just the process that will be used to make them.

The real work is left to the Congressional appropriators for the first $917 billion and for a super-committee of Congress for the second $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in ten-year cuts.

That second tranche is where health care will make its contribution. The super-committee has to make its decisions by November 23rd and, as a practical matter, the Congress can only accept what the super-committee decides or face the consequences of the automatic $1.2 trillion fallback cuts.

When it comes to health care and the super-committee, all federal health care spending is on the table—–Medicare, Medicaid, the new law, benefits, and provider payments.

Continue reading “The Debt Deal: There Will Be Blood on the Floor on November 23rd”

Health Care Brawl: All or Nothing Doesn’t Work

EUGENE STEUERLE Originally published 1/17/11 in The Fiscal Times

In today’s world, health reform succeeds only if it goes hand in hand with reasonable budget constraints on health spending. But the debate beginning in the House today isn’t about benefits versus costs. Instead, it’s a winner-take-all spectacle like the Super Bowl. Vote “Yes” or “No” on rescinding recent health legislation. Yes or no on regulating Medicare. Thumbs up or down on the constitutionality of an “individual mandate.” Continue reading “Health Care Brawl: All or Nothing Doesn’t Work”