Promised Health Care Savings: Don’t Bet On Medicare Cuts

Edmund Haislmaier /

Forget the President’s rhetoric about bending the health care cost curve.

The House of Representatives will soon vote on legislation (H.R. 3961) that effectively repeals the cost control mechanism included in the Medicare physician payment update formula back in 1997.

Passage of H.R. 3961 would add another $210 billion to the Federal government’s ballooning deficit — and even more importantly — it would demonstrate that Congress is not serious about actually enforcing any new Medicare spending cuts included in its pending health care bills.

The result could be another half-a-trillion dollars — or more — added to the federal deficit over the next ten years if Congress passes new health care legislation. The experience with Medicare physician payment “reform” perfectly illustrates why the spending cuts that finance much of the new health legislation are likely to never happen. (more…)