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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Analysis: House Democrats’ Bill Threatens Seniors’ Health Care

October 28, 2009

Washington, DC – Flanked by seniors and House Republican Leaders, Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) today discussed a recently released analysis from the nonpartisan experts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) showing the House Democrats’ health care bill could harm seniors’ medical care.

“The conclusions of this report confirm what we have heard from other nonpartisan, independent experts: seniors could lose Medicare benefits and even access to a doctor if the House Democrats’ bill is enacted,” Camp said.  “Seniors health care is too important to risk on one gigantic gamble that cuts one-half trillion dollars out of Medicare to pay for it.”

Among the estimates released by CMS’ Office of the Actuary were:

Fewer Doctors And Hospitals Treating Medicare Patients:
“Providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).”

Medicare Benefits Will Be Cut for 11 Million Seniors
Medicare Advantage (MA) cuts would result in “less generous benefit packages. …Under current law, MA plans use rebate revenues to reduce Medicare coinsurance requirements, add extra benefits such as vision or dental care, and/or reduce enrollee premiums for Part B or Part D of Medicare.”  

Millions of Seniors Will Lose Their Health Plan:
As a result, of the Democrats’ Medicare cuts, OACT predicts that enrollment in MA will decline from 13.2 million in 2014 to just 4.7 million, a 64 percent decline in projected enrollment.  This also means that millions of seniors will lose the health plan that they have today.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) arrived at similar conclusions.  In their report, CBO estimated that Medicare cuts contained in the Democrats’ health bills, “could lead many plans to limit the benefits they offer, raise their premiums, or withdraw from the program.”

“America’s seniors clearly have a reason to be concerned about the Democrats’ health care bills,” said Camp.