Bush administration to look at costs of Medicare

Share this article:

President Bush said he plans to examine the high cost of Medicare after his administration disclosed this week that the prescription drug benefit would cost more than $720 billion over its first 10 years. The administration earlier pegged the cost at $534 billion.

"There's no question that there is an unfunded liability inherent in Medicare that Congress and the administration is going to have to deal with over time," said President Bush, who indicated he would address the issue after completing Social Security reform.

Democrats and Republicans might push for changes in the Medicare law before it takes effect in 2006. Possible cost-cutting changes for the Medicare law include capping spending for the benefit; cutting payments for wealthy beneficiaries; allowing the government to negotiate bulk drug prices with pharmaceutical firms; and legalizing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.

Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told Congress on Wednesday that the administration will work with lawmakers to control the drug benefit's cost.

Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.