Medicare Trustees Report: Not Good News for Seniors

This is Medicare Chief Actuary Rick Foster on what the PPACA (ObamaCare) does to Medicare (pages 265-267 of the report):

Without major changes in health care delivery systems, the prices paid by Medicare for health services are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing these services. By the end of the long-range projection period, Medicare prices for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, ambulatory surgical center, diagnostic laboratory, and many other services would be less than half of their level under the prior law. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance. Well before that point, Congress would have to intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market and the severe problems with beneficiary access to care that would result.

Comments (8)

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  1. Greg says:

    Wait a minute. Isn’t he talking about the very plan backed and defended by the very people who are attacking paul Ryan?

  2. Nancy says:

    How can the Obama administration continue to ignore everything Rick Foster has been saying?

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    The Medicare Chief Actuary, Richard Foster, has been saying this for some time. But proponents of the Affordable Care Act still tout the cost-saving features that will cut $523 billion from Medicare over 10 years. Richard Foster does not believe the cuts will actually take place. If they do, the rates paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients will fall below Medicaid rates by the end of the decade.

  4. Ken says:

    Is there any chance this will silence Paul Krugman?

  5. Brian Williams. says:

    Without Rick Foster’s addendum, the Trustees Report would act like nothing’s wrong. That calls into question the value of the report itself, no?

    Did the Public Trustees say anything?

  6. Simon says:

    It is known that there is a large increase in administrative costs associated with the ACA, and Foster points out gross non-neutral policies that threaten equity (both horizontally and vertically). Still curious to what principle supporters of the ACA are using for justification.

  7. bob hertz says:

    In the long run it would be better if Medicare had no involvement with doctors at all. Raising the Part B deductible to about $2,500 would do the job.

    The majority of senior ciitzens can pay to see a doctor every two months, or even every month.

    Diagnostic tests may be unaffordable at current prices, especially if they are done in the rip-off world of hospital outpatient care. That issue must be resolved before going to the higher deductible.

    Medicare will have its fiscal hands full just paying for Plan A (acute hospital care.) Theere are 33 million baby boomers between 55 and 65 waiting to come onto Medicare between now and 2020. The payroll tax that funds Part A is not going to be up to the task. (see David Cay Johnston’s article Breaking News: Tax Revenues Plummeted).

    A lot of debate and emotional energy surrounds the issue of Medicare and office visits.
    This is understandable in that there are close to a billion claims a year.

    However, paying for hospitals is ultimately a bigger crisis. Hospitals may waste a lot of money, but that waste is the jobs and economic lifeblood of a lot of American cities.

    Bob Hertz
    Director, The Health Care Crusade

  8. Jeff says:

    If you are 65 or older, get a concierge doctor quickly. You are going to need one.