“While we applaud the Chairs’ initiative and efforts to reduce future federal outlays, we feel their proposals ultimately fail to provide an adequate plan for the fiscal future, especially for the unsustainable rise in federal health care costs. We believe that the proposals can contribute to the ongoing budget debate, but are not a roadmap. To help inform the healthcare budget discussion, we outline below the good, the bad, and the ugly policy prescriptions in the co-chairs proposal.”

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“Survey after survey shows that Americans oppose Obamacare and want to see it repealed. In a new Gallup poll, for example, opponents of the law outnumber supporters more than 2 to 1: 42 percent said it went too far, while 20 percent said it was ‘just right.’ A recent Rasmussen poll found that 53 percent of likely voters favor repeal.”

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CMS Administrator Don Berwick testified at his first and only Senate hearing for such a brief time, that he was unable to be thoroughly questioned. “Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called the hearing ‘pathetic’ and said the time constraints made any real questioning difficult. ‘It’s like asking us to drain the Pacific Ocean with a thimble,’ he said. ‘We ought to have time to ask the most important man in healthcare sufficient questions.'”

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“Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the new chief of Medicare and Medicaid, survived his first confrontation with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday, brushing aside criticism of the new health care law and denouncing efforts to repeal it.”

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“Orszag claims that Obamacare will reduce the federal deficit and Medicare spending. What isn’t mentioned is that, though it’s true that spending on Medicare will be reduced by $575 billion over the next decade, savings are used to offset spending on new programs. So really, there are no savings at all.”

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“Is Donald Berwick, the controversial new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, standing by the Obama administration’s double counting of savings in the new health care law? At a Senate hearing this morning, he declined to engage with official criticism of the administration’s claim that the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act extends the Medicare Trust Fund.”

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“Dr. Donald Berwick has his coming out party today in Washington. After President Obama snuck him into office during a recess appointment as the head of the second largest health insurance company in the world- CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) without so much as a single hearing, Senators finally have an opportunity to meet him during a Finance Committee meeting.”

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“My conversations lead me to believe that many people are expecting that the plans offered in the exchanges will be Medicare-like in many ways. I feel like many people think they will have choice of doctor, choice of hospital, and the ability to dictate care. I’m not seeing how insurance companies will be able to offer such products at prices people can afford. As I talk to more and more people in the insurance industry, my thoughts seem confirmed. I may be wrong, but I think it’s worth addressing. Mistaken expectations have been, and continue to be, a real problem in health care reform.”

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Medicare is facing a huge 23% cut to doctor reimbursements starting December 1. Doctors are panicking, and it will likely be overturned, but ObamaCare is paid for with the same type of across the board cuts to Medicare payments. “Breast cancer surgeon Kathryn Wagner has posted a warning in her waiting room about a different sort of risk to patients’ health: She’ll stop taking new Medicare cases if Congress allows looming cuts in doctors’ pay to go through.”

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“Health providers dropping Medicare patients is the worst case scenario, especially in light of the flood of baby boomers set to retire and join Medicare. For now, many hospitals are preparing for revenue cuts as best they can. For Memorial Hospital, this means reducing the work force.”

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