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Senator Enzi Asks Actuary For Real Numbers [AUDIO]

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi
U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi

During a Senate hearing Thursday, Wyoming’s senior senator criticized the rosy projections being made about health reform. According to a release from his office, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, took issue with projected savings from health reform made by the administration.

Sen. Enzi said our health care system rewards inefficiency and often fails to deliver quality care. As an example, Enzi points to the Partnership for Patients program, which rewards providers for what they should already being doing.

Program rewards inefficiency:

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“The crux of Partnership initiative is providing grant moneys to encourage providers to do the very things they should already be doing for their patients. While this may be politically attractive because it wins the support of all the stakeholders who will receive grant funds, I see very little evidence that it will actually change the fundamental problems that exist in the current system.”

Another problem is, says Enzi, the projected savings for the Partnership program are based on doubtful assumptions. The senator wants the the number crunchers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, to look at those projections more objectively.

CBO, Congressional Budget Office:

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“I want to ask CBO and the CMS Actuary to perform real estimates, rather than just looking at limited assumptions that would drive an answer.”

The senator said better accounting will allow a more honest debate about the merits of the program.

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