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…”
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.