Sarah Kliff at WonkBlog has done an analysis of the White House's proposed cuts/savings to Medicare in his "cliff"-avoidance proposal. Here's an excerpt:
... What the White House is proposing here is essentially moving Medicare into a system where they purchase drugs at a specified, lower price. They estimate this would save $156 billion over 10 years.Once one takes a look at Kliff's breakdown of the proposal, it would be very hard to convince most of us that the president hasn't done his side of the job in this. If only we had some Republicans in Congress who know the meaning of "real work." Time to stop renaming post offices, posing for photo ops, and complaining about government.
That’s the biggest cut that the White House has proposed. The second one would mean reducing what Medicare pays post-acute care providers, places like nursing homes and home health companies. These kinds of providers have been under scrutiny for awhile now for potential overpayments. One 2009 report from HHS found that skilled nursing facilities billed $1.5 billion in error over the course of a single year. The majority of those claims were “upcoded,” where providers would bill for a service that was a bit more complicated – and paid at a higher rate -than what they actually performed.
The White House has proposed cutting $63 billion over a decade in payments to these kinds of facilities. It has not, however, specified what exactly it would change about the reimbursement rates that these providers receive.
The rest of the spending cuts are relatively small in comparison. Increasing the Medicare premiums that high-income seniors pay — and also increasing the number of seniors who count as high-income for that provision — would save $28 billion. Allowing states to tax their Medicaid providers at a higher rate would bring in $21.8 billion. Taken together, these are some of the changes that you could see President Obama bring to the table in coming weeks. ...WonkBlog,WaPo