Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus today reacted to the release of the 2012 Medicare Trustee Report with calls for the program's reform. For the second time, the report concludes that Medicare will go bankrupt by 2024, if not earlier. The annual study also warns, for the third year in a row, that President Obama's health care law will adversely affect patients' access to Medicare services.
Despite the administration's claims, these findings underscore the need for changes to Medicare to ensure its survival. The GOP Doctors Caucus has repeatedly called for politicians and special interests groups to acknowledge the crisis and work together now to save the Medicare program.
Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., Co-Chair (GA-11): "Today's report reinforces the danger that seniors face in the coming decade. Without reform, this program will cease to exist not only for future generations, but for millions of Americans who are paying into it, and relying on it, today. While the Medicare Trustees announced a 2024 bankruptcy date, my physician colleagues and I released a report last week that found Medicare Hospital Insurance could become insolvent as early as 2016. Neither of these projections are good news for America's seniors, who deserve more from President Obama and Congress. We are running out of time; enacting reforms to save Medicare, rather than politicizing it, is critical."
Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10): "Today's report simply reinforced what we as physician Members of Congress already knew -- Medicare will go completely broke in just twelve years," said Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10). "However, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress have made it clear that their only plans for saving our seniors' health care is to do nothing. The numbers released today are a clear sign that we cannot afford to keep the fate of Medicare in fiscal limbo any longer."
Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08): "The Medicare Trustees report makes it clear that we need action now to preserve and protect this vital program for current beneficiaries and future retirees. The aging population and rising costs in healthcare are contributing to the approaching date of insolvency. Furthermore, the attempt to mask these issues by cutting $575 billion through Obamacare is more proof that this Administration has no plan to keep our promises to our nation's seniors. As a physician that mostly treated the Medicare population, it is unimaginable to continue ignoring this issue. Those that choose to do so should get their heads out of the sand."
Rep. John Fleming, M.D. (LA-04): "The idea that Obamacare will save Medicare would be laughable if the health care of millions of seniors was not at stake. The president used Medicare savings to foot some of the bill for Obamacare. The administration may spin today's report to justify its do-nothing approach to Medicare reform, but the fact is Medicare remains on an unsustainable path and Democrats need to stop the political games and join House Republicans in working to save Medicare."
House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA): "Washington must not continue to stand in the way of reforms to our vital Medicare program. Unfortunately, instead of coming to the table with solutions, President Obama and Democrats in Congress have chosen to demagogue the good-faith efforts of House Republicans to improve and strengthen this program. The Republican plan ensures that no changes are made for those in or near retirement and guarantees coverage choices for future seniors. So long as Democrats continue to make the political decision to avoid the tough decisions, seniors will face an uncertain future. We need to act sooner rather than later to ensure Medicare is fiscally sound and providing quality care for today's seniors and future generations."
Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01): "The demand for Medicare services is expanding at a very high rate, making future costs unaffordable, and putting our health care security at risk. In fact, according to the Medicare Trustees the program could go broke as soon as 2024. As a physician and a lawmaker, I believe our common goal should be to save, protect and preserve Medicare. President Obama's solution is to cut Medicare costs through the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a board that will ultimately limit seniors' access to care and compromise the quality of care they receive. However, I believe personalized Medicare helps solve a problem that affects everyone--the problem of relentlessly rising health care costs in America. Unless the government acts, the bankruptcy of our Medicare system remains a threat for current seniors and will not be there for younger families and future generations."