The chairmen of two powerful House committees on Wednesday sent a letter (PDF) to President Barack Obama asking for hard details on the administration's plan to achieve hundreds of billions in Medicare and Medicaid savings as a way to help lower the nation's debt.
Lawmakers press Obama on plans for Medicare
A week to the day after Obama outlined his deficit-reduction framework, Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in their letter that the president's plan calls for $340 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings by 2021 and $480 billion by 2023, but that “it is unclear from where or how those reductions in spending are achieved.”
The lawmakers asked specific policy questions about the president's plans for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, patient safety, and Medicare Part D. Regarding the IPAB, Camp and Upton want to know if the president plans to subject all providers to IPAB cuts beginning in 2014, and what changes he has in mind for this program.
“What specifically do you mean by ‘giving the IPAB additional tools to improve the quality of care while reducing costs, including allowing it to promote value-based designs'?” the congressmen asked. “Would this require a statutory change given that IPAB is not currently allowed to consider changes to the Medicare benefit package?”
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