Medicare chief says health law working

By Reuters
Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:02 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s chief of health programs for the elderly and poor on Thursday said the year-old US healthcare overhaul was helping millions of Americans and called a push by congressional Republicans to repeal the law unfortunate.

Medicare and Medicaid services administrator Donald Berwick, appearing before a congressional panel, defended the embattled healthcare overhaul, saying it was helping keep Medicare premiums and cost-sharing lower and it was helping shore up finances of the health program for the elderly.

“This law means real improvements for Medicare beneficiaries, now and in the future,” Berwick said in testimony prepared for delivery to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. “That’s why the House vote to repeal this law was unfortunate.”

Berwick’s defense of Obama’s healthcare overhaul comes as House Republicans push to deny funding for its implementation after failing to get the Democratic-led Senate to go along with the full repeal voted by the House last month.

A measure blocking funding for the law is expected to be taken up by the Republican-led House next week.

“In talking to people from around the country and reading the letters I’ve received, I’ve learned firsthand how the law is giving Americans more freedom in their health care choices and more security in their coverage,” Berwick said.

He said the law was giving the elderly greater cost relief on prescription drugs and more access to preventive care.

Republicans doubt administration claims that the law means better care and estimates that it will help reduce budget deficits, which are driven in part by rising costs of healthcare programs.

Republicans say planned cuts to the Medicare Advantage program, which uses private insurance providers such as Humana Inc and UnitedHealth Group Inc to deliver services, will lead to benefit cuts.

Berwick said enrollment in those programs has gone up while premiums have gone down since the law was enacted.

“In 2011, premiums are lower and enrollment is projected to be higher than ever before,” he said.

(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Vicki Allen)

Source: Reuters

Mochila insert follows…

Reuters.com brings you the latest news from around the world, covering breaking news in business, politics, technology, and more.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Guest

    I still cannot believe that EVERY fucking Repug in this country is so STUPID as to slit their own throats by supporting repeal of this far-from-perfect-yet-better-than-nothing bill.
    O.K. I take that back. The fools have been voting against themselves for years. Why should we be surprised.

  • Anonymous

    This about says it all.
    Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth

    February 2, 2011 |
    House Republicans say the bill, which was passed to stop the giant asteroid from hitting Earth, is ‘big government at its worst.’

    WASHINGTON—In a strong rebuke of President Obama and his domestic agenda, all 242 House Republicans voted Wednesday to repeal the Asteroid Destruction and American Preservation Act, which was signed into law last year to destroy the immense asteroid currently hurtling toward Earth.

    The $440 billion legislation, which would send a dozen high-thrust plasma impactor probes to shatter the massive asteroid before it strikes the planet, would affect more than 300 million Americans and is strongly opposed by the GOP.We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual,” King added.

    Repealing the act, which opponents have branded ‘Obamastroid,’ has been the cornerstone of the GOP agenda since the law’s passage last August. Throughout the 2010 elections, Republican candidates claimed that the Democrats’ plan to smash the space rock and shield citizens from its fragments was “a classic example of the federal government needlessly interfering in the lives of everyday Americans.”

    “This law is a job killer,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who argued the tax increases required to save the human species from annihilation would impose unbearably high costs on businesses. “If we sit back and do nothing, Obamastroid will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, which we simply can’t afford in this economy.”

    “And consider how much money this program will add to our already bloated deficit,” Foxx continued. “Is this the legacy we want to leave our children?”


  • Anonymous

    Truth in satire. Gotta love The Onion.

  • Anonymous

    Not really a surprise. 99% of those who blast it haven’t the faintest clue what is actually in it

    But Fox News gave them a few talking points so they scream and repeat them and thats the end of it


  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    insurance corporation profits
    big pharma profits
    substandard medical care
    no medical care