Obama offers $340B health package

March 8, 2013 at 12:20 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- President Obama's budget calls for a $340 billion package of Medicare and Medicaid spending cuts and revenue increases over 10 years, White House officials say.

The president's specific health savings proposals have all been verified by the Congressional Budget Office's March analysis of his budget. The $362 billion in his original budget proposal has been reduced to about $340 billion by some changes that went into effect.

The specific spending cut numbers are included in the budget for fiscal year 2013 found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf.

Some of the Medicare reforms include implementing new Medicare Part D drug rebates for drugs provided to low-income beneficiaries at $137 billion over 10 years; reducing Medicare payments for bad debts by $24 billion over 10 years; and increasing income-related premiums for higher-income beneficiaries in Medicare Parts B and D beginning in 2017 an increase of $30 billion in revenue.

Obama's reforms would obtain savings from Medicare and Medicaid while protecting their fundamental structure, the White House said on its website. By 2022, the president's Medicare proposals would save $57 billion per year -- slightly more than the $53 billion that would be saved under the Bowles-Simpson proposal.

The policies of the Affordable Care Act are estimated to contribute to the slowing baseline growth in Medicare and Medicaid to that of GDP on a per capita basis, the White House said.

The president signed into law health savings in the Affordable Care Act that paid for the improved health coverage for seniors and reduced the deficit by more than $100 billion for the next 10 years.

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