Medicare Cuts Coming

Medicare cuts are coming as a result of tax cuts that are pushing government debt to $21 trillion.

The Trump administration wants to do away with an entire Medicare program that is designed to find ways to reduce Medicare costs without lowering the quality of care people receive.

Medicare cuts for a cost-saving program

Congress established the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to design, test, and spread innovative payment and service delivery models that either reduce spending without reducing the quality of care or improve the quality of care without increasing spending.

The total budget for the CMMI is $800 million and the Trump administration has that number on the list of cuts it wants Congress to make to the budget they just passed.  $15 billion in cost-cutting is the total Trump wants and includes taking $6.96 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

From the CMS websiste:

The Innovation Center develops new payment and service delivery models in accordance with the requirements of section 1115A of the Social Security Act. Additionally, Congress has defined – both through the Affordable Care Act and previous legislation – a number of specific demonstrations to be conducted by CMS.

The Innovation Center also plays a critical role in implementing the Quality Payment Program, which Congress created as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) to replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate formula to pay for physicians’ and other providers’ services. In this new program, clinicians may earn incentive payments by participating to a sufficient extent in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). In Advanced APMs clinicians accept some risk for their patients’ quality and cost outcomes and meet other specified criteria.

The Innovation Center is working in consultation with clinicians to increase the number and variety of models (PDF) available to ensure that a wide range of clinicians, including those in small practices and rural areas, have the option to participate.

Here are some of the cuts Trump wants Congress to make:

— $6.96 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program
— $800 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

— $22.9 million from the Employment and Training Administration

— $252 million from U.S. AID, for the Ebola outbreak response

— $179.1 million from the Federal Highway Administration

— $40.8 million from Public and Indian Housing Programs

— $10 million from the Environmental Protection Agency


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