For Obama (and the GOP?), Medicare/Medicaid Austerity Cuts Embedded within Reform

September 15, 2011
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Just whose side is Barack Obama on, anyway?

Just whose side is Barack Obama on, anyway? With the passage of the PPACA, Democrats had been assured that — although a complete reform of healthcare delivery was sacrificed at the hands of capitulation to Big Insurance — savings in the form of well-implemented subsidies for exchanges and overall cost shifting from Medicare and Medicaid would be realized over the course of the balance of the 2010s.  When he announces his plans for deficit reductions next week, the proposals will carry the tone set forth by the president’s arch-nemesis in the recent debt ceiling debate — House Speaker John  Boehner (R-OH). [h/t DailyKos]

[T]proposal is expected to include the “grand bargain” policies the White House put on the table in the debt ceiling negotiations with Speaker John Boehner: “$150bn extracted from Medicare providers such as doctors and hospitals, $150bn coming from Medicare beneficiaries, and $125bn coming out of reforms to Medicaid,” including “an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare.” Additionally, the administration could propose more flexibility in negotiating drug prices and access to cheaper generic drugs.

Avoiding SS reforms in favor of balancing the federal ledger as it applies to Medicare and Medicaid smells more like a political stunt than a necessary action cloaked in the realm of “reform”, a move that, in the long run, benefits Republicans should they take this ball and run with it in 2012 — ironically negating any real chance of CMS payment reform come 2014.

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