After a lifetime of hard work, seniors deserve a Medicare program that is solvent, sustainable and responsive. Medicare is a sacred trust on which America must never default. Sadly, Obamacare ends Medicare, as we know it. It contains more than 160 provisions for Medicare that increase the government's control over the delivery of care. It also hits doctors with unsustainable payment cuts while leaving taxpayers with higher deficits.
Obamacare turns major Medicare payment decisions over to an unelected board, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB will control the Medicare budget. Unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats should not be in control of Medicare.
The most pressing issue facing Medicare is its long-term solvency. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicare will go bankrupt in 2021 unless we do something to save this much-needed program.
That is why I have always fought for strengthening and ensuring the fiscal solvency of Medicare. We must protect Medicare recipients from any disruptions in their coverage while offering future beneficiaries innovative and common sense solutions so as to ensure that this program will be there for them. Unfortunately, Obamacare takes $500 billion from Medicare's coffers. This money will not go back into Medicare but, in fact, it will be used to fund and expand other Obamacare initiatives.
One of the ways to make Medicare more effective is to combat fraud. Medicare fraud and abuse costs taxpayers close to $60 billion dollars annually. That is why I have reintroduced the Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act. It would update and double the criminal penalties for those convicted of Medicare fraud. It will also create a new offense for illegally distributing Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary IDs.