CBPP: Savings Will Stick
A new report by two former CBO officials – James Horney and Paul Van de Water – now working at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that this criticism is, in their words, a "mistaken belief."
"Virtually all of the Medicare cuts enacted in 1990 and 1993, which accounted for a significant portion of the savings in those large deficit-reduction packages, were implemented," they wrote. "And most of the savings enacted in 1997 other than the SGR cuts – nearly four-fifths [emphasis theirs] – were implemented as well."
Finally, the authors point out the inherent flaws with the SGR provisions in the 1997 legislation that led the President and Congress to prevent the measure from taking effect over the past seven years. Fundamentally, the blunt cut in physician reimbursement rates was just that – done without any of the systemic reforms needed to actually bring down the cost of health care. In contrast, Horney and Van de Water write "the Medicare provisions in the health reform bills seem well designed to accomplish their assigned tasks and are not based on crude formulas likely to result in unanticipated, unacceptably large cuts."
The rest of the report details the other key elements of fiscally-responsible health reform – all contained in the bills under debate. Check it out; it’s worth the read.
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