An interesting debate occurred in the Washington Post between Michael Leavitt, former secretary of Health and Human Services and a member of the Medicare Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009, and Dr. Don Berwick, the director of CMS.
Michael Leavitt wrote a scathing article criticizing President Obama’s Medicare Reform Act calling it an illusion. Don Berwick wrote a rebuttal to Michael Leavitt’s article.
Michael Leavitt starts off his article by stating: “Despite the report from Medicare’s trustees this month that the hospital insurance trust fund will not be depleted until 2029, 12 years later than was predicted just last year, Medicare is no better off than it was a year ago. “
The Medicare Trustees Report was strange. Nothing was done to change anything and all of a sudden, the hospital insurance fund was extended 12 years. I thought it was funny arithmetic.
Medicare Trustees is supposed to be an organization independent of the administration. Shortly afterward, Richard Foster, Chief Actuary for Medicare, who is independent of both the Medicare Trustees and the administration, wrote an “Alternative Report.” His report received little coverage in the traditional media. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*