But the argument was burdened by some rather glaring flaws. For one thing, Romney’s criticism wasn’t true. For another, the $716 billion in Medicare savings were embraced by congressional Republicans, including Romney’s running mate, in the GOP budget plan. As Bill Clinton said at the Democratic convention, it “takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.”
Video: President Obama explains the so-called Medicare cuts
Medicare Advisory Group Recommends 1% Increase In Hospital Rates
CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Considers 1 Percent Payment Increase For Hospitals The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Thursday in a draft recommendation called for a modest 1 percent increase in inpatient and outpatient hospital payments in 2014, at a time when providers are dreading the impact of possible Medicare cuts under sequestration or as a result of budget negotiations. A staff analysis used for the draft recommendation found that Medicare paid two percent more to hospitals in 2011 compared to 2010, as well as a continued shift to services provided in an outpatient setting rather than in hospital beds. The quality of care is generally improving as well, the analysis said. But commissioners continued to chafe at a fee-for-service system that they say too often rewards volume over quality and efficiency. “I believe $117 billion in spending on acute care is too much,” said Scott Armstrong, president of Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Wash., referring to total inpatient Medicare costs in 2011 (Norman, 12/6).
Do Republicans Want to Cut Medicare?
The Republican positioning on Medicare has set the tone for the current budget impasse. Obama is asking for $1.6 trillion in higher tax revenue. Republicans are demanding more spending cuts, but they won’t say how much they want, let alone what specifically they will cut. The current party thinking on Medicare, sanctified by Romney and Ryan, has defined itself as matching or even outspending Obama on Medicare for anybody aged 55 and up. That would lock out any budget savings at all for the next decade, and make any savings roll in extremely slowly afterward.
Obama Administration Proposes $340 Billion in Medicare Cuts in Preliminary “Fiscal Cliff” Negotiations
According to news reports on Nov. 28 and 29, President Barack Obama has proposed cutting $340 billion from Medicare spending over 10 years, in his fiscal year 2013 budget, as part of his initial bargaining stance with Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) and congressional Republicans, during the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations. The $340 billion in Medicare cuts would include avoidable readmissions reduction-related reimbursement cuts; requiring some pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay rebates to the Medicare program in some circumstances; reducing coverage of bad debts that hospitals and nursing homes have failed to collect from patients; and charging higher premiums to high-income Medicare beneficiaries, according to a Nov. 29 article in The New York Times.
Paul Ryan Puts $716 Billion Medicare Cuts Back into the Budget
Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, had preserved Obama’s Medicare cuts in two consecutive budget proposals that repealed the rest of the Affordable Care Act. Ryan is now back at work crafting his next budget, and Republicans on his committee say the $716 billion in Medicare cuts will likely survive.
Don’t Let Obama Cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
This is before the Tea Party swept into Congress, so there was no pressure on Obama to appease the right. By adopting Tea Party talking points on spending and comparing government to a family – what family do you know that has 8,100 tons of gold reserves, a space program and embassies in some 200 countries? – Obama legitimized debt as a major concern going into the 2010 election.
A little more history. Obama ran in 2008 on repealing the Bush tax cuts. But he reneged on his promise just one month into his presidency even though he was gushing with political capital, the right was in disarray and the Democratic-controlled Congress was ready to pass it. (After campaigning in 2012 on abolishing tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000, Obama indicated he was willing to renege once more days after being re-elected.)
New Boehner budget offer: Lower tax rate for rich, cut Medicare
“The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires. While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates. President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down. Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.”
Obamacare, Medicare Cuts Could be Death Knell for Up to 50% of Nursing Homes
At the same time, Genesis is positioning its communities to take advantage of other, more beneficial aspects of the ACA that can result in shared cost-savings. This includes participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and partnering with health systems and home healthcare agencies as part of a larger managed care movement to reduce hospital readmissions, thereby helping hospitals avoid reimbursement penalties from Medicare for rehospitalizations above a certain threshold.