opinion

What editorial writers are saying about the Medicare trustees report

The Obama administration has touted the report as proof that the health system overhaul is helping Medicare's finances.

Posted Aug. 30, 2010.

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Trustees extended the Medicare hospital trust fund insolvency date to 2029, 12 years later than estimated last year, but some are questioning the report's findings.

Actuary exposes Medicare flimflam

The best part of the annual trustees' report on the solvency of Medicare is the three pages at the end. That's when Medicare's chief actuary adds a "statement of actuarial opinion" that translates as: The preceding 280 pages are malarkey. Credit Richard Foster for shooting straight with the public. Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, Aug. 16

For Medicare's sake, stick to health reform plan

The Medicare program known as Part A is funded by payroll taxes and pays for seniors' hospital care. The Medicare trustees have long warned it's in financial trouble, reaching insolvency as soon as 2017. But this year's report ... notes the program "is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act." Des Moines Register, Aug. 11

Medicare misfire

The government should look at payment systems that reward better care instead of more services, incentives that promote more cost-effective therapies and greater competition to hold down prices, among other changes. And eventually, the discussion has to turn to difficult questions about what level of care people need and how to pay for those services. (Riverside, Calif.) Press-Enterprise, Aug. 9

Medicare's rosy health

Never mind about the rosy projections on the previous 280-plus pages. It's fiscal fantasyland. The trustees are required by law to appraise Medicare based on certain assumptions. But they bear little resemblance to the real world in doctor's offices and hospitals. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 10

Without health care reform, Medicare's future looks grim

If the Medicare trustees had an accurate crystal ball, the hospital trust fund would have gone bankrupt in 2001, as they estimated in 1996. Or in 2002, as they predicted in 1992. Or in 2003, as they estimated in 1990. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 12

The latest on Medicare and Social Security

The trustees stressed that the improvement in Medicare depends on how effectively the new health care reform law is implemented. For instance, the law envisions paying doctors based on quality and efficiency of treatments, rather than on the number of visits or procedures. As that transition occurs, will Congress resist the inevitable outcry? New York Times, Aug. 9

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn