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Obama Administration’s Actuaries Questions Democrats’ Health Law Budget Gimmicks

January 19, 2011

Democrats argue that despite cutting more than one-half trillion dollars from Medicare in order to fund a new entitlement that they’re actually “protecting/improving” Medicare for seniors.  They like to point to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) actuaries’ analysis that predicts that because of the cuts, the solvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund would be extended by 12 years.

However, what the Democrats won’t tell you is that the same actuaries also stated that Democrats can’t have it both ways.  They can’t claim that their health overhaul law reduces the deficit while at the same time claim it extends Medicare solvency.  Specifically, the CMS actuaries said “the improved HI financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions.”

Additionally, the CMS actuaries highlighted another budget gimmick employed by the Democrats: the Medicare cuts being used to fund their health care overhaul are unsustainable. The actuaries stated that “absent legislative intervention, [providers] might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).”