The Obama administration stepped up its attacks on the House-passed Republican deficit-reduction measure Thursday by strongly backing a Senate Democratic analysis that estimated some of the ways the Republican bill would impact current Medicare recipients, not just future beneficiaries.
White House, Senate Democrats say GOP plan will hit current Medicare recipients
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined a group of liberal senators who were releasing the analysis of the Medicare impacts under the Republican deficit plan, which includes a rollback of the Affordable Care Act. The impacts on Medicare beneficiaries stemmed from that repeal, such as $44 billion in prescription drug costs that Medicare enrollees would have to pay over the next 10 years. Another repeal impact would leave about 1 million seniors and people with disabilities to pay an estimated $110 million in 2012 for their annual “wellness visits,” which are free to them under the 2010 law.
The Republican plan “would end Medicare as we know it and impose significant costs on today's seniors and tomorrow's seniors,” Sebelius said, using an often-repeated refrain of Democrats in the weeks since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled the plan.
The senators' report includes state-by-state estimates of the number of seniors impacted by the prescription drug and annual prevention-visit provisions.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), said the Republican plan was a “fundamental misdiagnosis” of the drivers of rising healthcare costs, which are low quality and uncoordinated care and not the benefits added by the 2010 healthcare law.
The attacks by the administration and congressional Democrats' on the Republican deficit plan come as the Senate prepares for a likely vote on it next week.
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