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They’re Not What You May Think, And Not Without Precedent

The new federal budget proposes reducing Medicare spending by more than $800 billion – over a decade. But it’s not reductions in seniors’ benefits; it’s (theoretical) cuts in Medicare’s payments to health care providers, mainly hospitals. Seven years ago the budget indicated the Affordable Care Act would cut almost $800 billion from Medicare, and again it was more about trimming provider payments rather than cutting benefits. Also, some savings would come from the administration’s plans to lower Medicare’s spending on prescription drugs. (And as often as not, the proposed federal budget is more like a wish list than a road map).


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