US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

President’s Health Law Two Years Later: Raiding Medicare and the Specter of IPAB

Thursday, March 22, 2012Joe Brenckle 202-224-2465

WASHINGTON – With the President’s unconstitutional, $2.6 trillion health spending law turning two years old on Friday, U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today released a fact sheet outlining how the law was funded by raiding cornerstone programs like Medicare to pay for the President’s new entitlement program, while also noting the uncertainty surrounding the unelected bureaucrats (Independent Payment Advisory Board) who will decide on future Medicare cuts. Hatch and Enzi are respectively the Ranking Members of the Senate Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees.

  1. $529 billion – the amount of funding cut from the Medicare program to pay for a new entitlement program – the cuts will create a new entitlement, not strengthen an existing entitlement that is in serious fiscal jeopardy. (Estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, March 20, 2010)
  2. 87 percent – the amount of cuts that will come from reduced payments to providersAccording to chief Medicare actuary, Mr. Richard Foster, if providers were subject to current Medicare rate projections, they will eventually “become unwilling or unable to treat Medicare beneficiaries.” (Testimony of Richard Foster before the House Budget Committee, February 28, 2012)
  3. Millions - the number of seniors who will lose access to the Medicare Advantage program under the new law after 2017, according to CBO. (CBO - page 25 of a recent PPACA estimate)
  4. $33.8 trillion – the amount of unfunded obligations faced by the Medicare program, which the health care law did not attempt to resolve.  (2011 Report of the Board of Trustees for the Medicare Program.  May 13, 2011)
  5. $0 - the amount of Medicare trust funds that will be left in 2024, when it will be officially bankrupt - five years earlier than the projected exhaustion date. (2011 Report of the Board of Trustees for the Medicare Program, May 13, 2011)
  6. $87 billion – the amount of new Medicare payroll taxes created in the new health care law to pay for the President’s new entitlement program. (Estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, March 20, 2010)
  7. $42.6 billion - the amount of new costs forced on taxpayers to fund closure of the Part D “donut hole.” (Estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, March 20, 2010)
  8. 15 - The number of unelected, unaccountable, bureaucrats who will make additional cuts to the Medicare program based on arbitrary budget targets.  The IPAB would empower its members to make substantial changes to Medicare without full transparency and accountability to America’s seniors and their elected officials.
  9. 51 percent - the number of doctors who believe that the health spending law will have a negative impact on their relationships with their patients. (Survey by The Doctors Company, February 29, 2012)
  10. 60 percent - the number of doctors who believe the health care law will have a negative impact on overall patient care. (Survey by The Doctors Company, February 29, 2012)

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