House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued the following statement after the House Budget Committee and House Committee on Ways and Means held hearings today on strengthening the nation's health and retirement security and the president's budget proposal, respectively. Richard Foster, Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, testified in the House Budget Committee. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified in the House Committee on Ways and Means.
"Medicare is on an unsustainable path which is putting in jeopardy the health and well-being of current and future retirees. This program will need to be strengthened in order to save it," said Chairman Price. "It is so disappointing that the Obama Administration is not proposing a plan of their own to make sure seniors continue to have access to Medicare over the long-term. The recent budget proposal put forth by the Obama Administration fails to outline a real plan. However, we continue to hear the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats stand behind their health care law. It will actually put the care of current seniors in jeopardy by cutting over $500 billion from Medicare and giving an unelected, unaccountable board of 15 bureaucrats the power to essentially deny care to seniors by deciding what to pay doctors for the care they provide. This is current law. It does not save Medicare for seniors, it degrades it.
"Listening to the Medicare actuary and others, it is clear that something must be done. The health and well-being of today's and tomorrow's seniors ought to be a priority which is why House Republicans have put forward proposals to improve and strengthen Medicare -- keeping the promise to seniors now and for generations to come. We do not believe in giving an unelected board of bureaucrats power to deny payments for care because that simply takes away choices for seniors. The reforms we have promoted put patients first, not bureaucrats or some new health care entitlement. Our plan to save and strengthen Medicare guarantees coverage and allows future seniors to choose a personalized health care plan that best fits their needs.
"Democrats have already ended Medicare "as we know it.' What House Republicans have done is outline a vision for a more secure, stronger health care system for future generations."