Medicare savings should come from all providers, Democrat says

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Lawmakers may be asked to find more than $100 billion in savings over five years from Medicare for the House budget resolution, according to Pete Stark (D-CA), chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.

Medicare managed care plans, specifically, should not assume they are exempt from cuts, said Stark. He said that Medicare managed-care plans are overpaid by as much as 15% in comparison to fee-for-service Medicare plans. The House Budget Committee is scheduled to begin markup of a nonbinding budget resolution next week.

President Bush has proposed slashing $76 billion from Medicare over five years. That includes $10 billion in cuts to nursing homes, providers say. Democrats criticized the administration's decision not to pursue lower spending for Medicare managed-care plans.