“For the first time in Medicare history, the Medicare Chief Actuary has called the projections in a Medicare Trustees Report ‘unreasonable’ and ‘implausible’ and encouraged everyone to ignore them and view instead an ‘Illustrative Alternative’ report… The alternative report says that the number of facilities that would become unprofitable will grow to 25% by 2030 and 40% by 2050 if the health reform law is implemented as written.”

Taxpayer funding is being used to falsely claim that ObamaCare saved Medicare without cutting any benefits. “In a new TV spot from the Obama administration, actor Andy Griffith, famous for his 1960s portrayal of the top law enforcement official in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., touts benefits of the new health care law. Griffith tells his fellow senior citizens, “like always, we’ll have our guaranteed [Medicare] benefits.” But the truth is that the new law is guaranteed to result in benefit cuts for one class of Medicare beneficiaries — those in private Medicare Advantage plans.”

“This week the Obama administration released a report claiming that the new healthcare law will strengthen Medicare. This is a familiar theme from an administration that has received low marks from seniors, who instinctively know that cutting Medicare spending by $575 billion over the next decade will probably not do them any good. A cynical mind might also conclude that releasing this self-congratulatory message three days before the annual Medicare Trustees Report was meant to deflect attention from more bad news.”

The National Council on Aging released a poll suggesting that seniors are uninformed on the health law. But it turns out that the experts are misinformed, because seniors are right that ObamaCare will cut their benefits, lower the quality of their care, and worsen the nation’s fiscal position.

Medicare is an enormous, unfunded liability for the government.  Medicare reform was urgently needed before ObamaCare’s passage, and the law was supposed to have addressed those problems. But instead of improving the program, and the country’s fiscal outlook, ObamaCare used the same failed policy changes tried over the last 20 years.

“Considering how dubious the public remains about Obamacare, there is every reason to believe the Republicans really did want an exchange with the candid, erudite Berwick. The recess appointment strongly suggests the White House simply did not want to have another fight over the contentious health-care issue.”

“Unfortunately, Dr. Berwick’s prescription for reform – a bolder, more determined bureaucracy – is the wrong strategy for an industry that has labored under increasing government control for the past 50 years. Instead, health care is in desperate need of more consumer-driven innovations like the iPhone that have the potential to change the way we think about health and health care.”

“Administration officials argue that Republicans would have seized on any nominee as an opportunity to re-litigate the health-care debate. But Berwick offered opponents a loaded gun with his talk about rationing, his discussion of health reform as a matter of redistributing wealth, and his effusive praise for the British system. If the president wanted to buy a fight like this, he ought to have been better prepared to wage it.”

ObamaCare’s expanded control by government will inevitably lead to rationed care. “The new law also dramatically expands Medicaid, a poorly performing welfare program with low physician reimbursement rates, and this expansion will account for roughly half of the 34 million newly insured Americans. Furthermore, the law creates an Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will recommend measures to reduce Medicare spending. Formally, the board is forbidden to make recommendations that ration care, increase revenues, or change Medicare beneficiaries’ benefits, cost-sharing, eligibility or subsidies. For the board, reimbursement for doctors and other medical professionals seems the only target left. But payment cuts can effectively ration care.”

“The NICE precedent also undercuts the Obama Administration’s argument that vast health savings can be gleaned simply by automating health records or squeezing out “waste.” Britain has tried all of that but ultimately has concluded that it can only rein in costs by limiting care. The logic of a health-care system dominated by government is that it always ends up with some version of a NICE board that makes these life-or-death treatment decisions. The Administration’s new Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research currently lacks the authority of NICE. But over time, if the Obama plan passes and taxpayer costs inevitably soar, it could quickly gain it.”