VIDEO: Medicare’s Chief Actuary talks of dangers of price controls

Posted by: ST on July 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm


Via the House Budget Committee’s You Tube page, which provides a recap of what Chief Actuary Richard Foster said:

At today’s House Budget Committee hearing, 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 Chief Actuary, providers of Medicare services will see cuts to their Medicare reimbursements past the point at which they can reasonably provide care to seniors. Providers would be reimbursed for their services at under 50 cents on the dollar by 2030, and down to 33 cents on the dollar in the years beyond.

When asked about the impact of these price controls on seniors’ access to quality care, Medicare’s chief actuary replied: “We’d like not to find out…”

Here’s more from the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein:

Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, testified before the House Budget Committee said that the cuts to medical providers set by President Obama’s national health care law were unrealistic.

“It’s pretty hard to imagine they could be sustainable,” Foster said, under questioning from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The health care law reduces the rate of growth for payments to hospitals, nursing facilities, and other medical providers. But over time, the payment rates will decline so steeply that he said future Congresses may not actually implement them, just as they have routinely voted to avert scheduled cuts to physicians payments.

If the cuts do go into effect, many providers would be “unwilling or unable to continue providing services,” Foster said.

Speaking truth to power. Too bad the “power” refuses to listen.

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4 Responses to “VIDEO: Medicare’s Chief Actuary talks of dangers of price controls”


  1. camojack says:

    I’d like not to find out too.

  2. Kate says:

    It’s already happening as many seniors are finding their doctors drop them and they have to find other physicians who accept Medicare…especially true with skilled nursing facilites. My father found out when looking for a rehab for my mother after she had a fall at home. Luckily he did find a place within a reasonable distance to his home. It was very expensive even with his additional long term care insurance. (A wise option for us baby boomers.) She came home and has home health care aides daily as she has end stage Alzheimers and needs constant care and attention.

    As the elderly are more vulnerable and the least healthy among us these cuts would be felt immediately and the seniors who vote regularly would let congress know immediately at the ballot box. We should endeavor to take care of our elderly parents as much as we can financially so they can have a decent lifestyle instead of depending on government programs that can be changed by a whim of any political party.

  3. baseballguy says:

    Truth to power only works when you are not in power.
    Kind of like Hillary and her “dissenting is the ultimate form of patriotism” thingy. It all sounds good until they are in power, then not so much.

  4. Sure like that crybaby dem logo!

    The classic Obama Crybaby picture has been (photo)shopped around on many sites. This high-res one I found on this PolitiFake page.

    For other versions, with other captions, and other images, search for “obama crybaby”

    I tried to webwork O’Bluffy with Blazing Saddles, in my own way, but someone else did it better. I did a quick Eat Your Peas collage for the wafflesnarfer in chief (term not original with me, but I like it).