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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Warning From Senator Johanns

Senator Johanns is warning us about increased fees and taxes. Preppers need to plan now for a future that is going to take more and more of our income, that is if the whole system does not collapse first.

April 23, 2010

Troubling New CMS Analysis Highlights Huge Costs, Losses From Health Care Law

WASHINGTON

Sen. Mike Johanns today issued the following statement on the recent analysis of the new health care law by the actuarial experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

"Americans will be rightly alarmed to learn that the new health care law will likely increase national health expenditures by $311 billion over the next ten years according to this new analysis. It reaffirms that the higher taxes and fees are going to hit the pocketbooks of many Americans and hurt employers. I requested a similar analysis from CMS last December, and this analysis verifies that the American public was justifiably worried.

"Making matters worse, the CMS analysis also indicates that the proposed Medicare cuts in the new law are unsustainable and could prove devastating to hospitals, nursing facilities, and home health providers. Ensuring access to care is critically important as more Baby Boomers move onto Medicare. As we begin to see the true impact of this new law it will become evident that this was very poor policy."

Background:

From Yesterday's CMS Report:

• Bends federal spending curve upward "by a net total of $251 billion" over the next decade.
o Increases national health spending by $311 billion in 2010 through 2019. (page 4)

• Estimated reductions in the growth rate of health spending "may not be fully achievable" because "Medicare productivity adjustments could become unsustainable even within the next ten years, and over time the reductions in the scope of employer-sponsored health insurance could also become an issue." (Page 9)

• Medicare provider cuts based on economy-wide, non-farm productivity improvements result in Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than the providers cost of furnishing services to beneficiaries which may cause providers to "end their participation in the program," and possibly jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries. According to the report 15% of all hospitals, nursing homes and other similar providers could be operating at a loss by 2019. (Page 9/10)

• The growth rate reductions from productivity adjustments (which are the source of a substantial portion of the Medicare savings in the new law) are unlikely to be sustained on an annual basis (page 12)

• The other Medicare savings provisions in the bill that are intended to help control future health care cost growth will have a "negligible financial impact over the next 10 years" (Page 13)

• The new fees and excise taxes will "generally be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and devices prices and higher premiums" and will increase national health expenditures. (page 17)

• A little more than one-half of those estimated to become insured as a result of PPACA in 2019, 18 million people, would receive their coverage through Medicaid. For these individuals, the report notes that as a result of more physicians refusing to treat Medicaid patients, it is reasonable to expect that a significant portion of the increased demand for Medicaid could be difficult to meet. (Page 20)

• Businesses would pay $87 billion in penalties between 2014-2019.

CMS Expressed Similar Concerns In January Analysis Of The Senate Version Of The Health Care Law:

• "[W]e estimate that overall national health expenditures under this bill would increase by an estimated total of $222 billion (0.6 percent) during calendar years 2010-2019..." (Richard Foster, "Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care,' As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009," Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 1/8/2009)

• CMS is skeptical of the Medicare savings: The report uses terms such as "unrealistic," "doubtful," and "difficult to attain." (Richard Foster, "Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care,' As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009," Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 1/8

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