Medicare’s rosy health* - Chicago Tribune
But hold on. Democrats weren’t straight with Americans about the costs of health care reform before the law passed. They used a lot of accounting tricks to make it look less expensive than it really will be. And they’re still fuzzing over facts.
One gimmick: double count the savings. The Democrats crow that the new law wrings $575 billion from Medicare projected costs, via savings and tax increases, to extend the program’s solvency. But that money isn’t going directly to Medicare’s coffers. Congress is plowing it into the expansion of benefits under the new health care law.
See that asterisk in the headline above? We put that there because the trustees’ report comes with a surprise twist from Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster. In a capsule, he says: Never mind.
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.
Those assumptions, Foster writes, “do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range … or the long range.”