Obamacare and health care access
A main Republican concern about the law is that the $575 billion it requires in Medicare reductions will make it hard for seniors to find doctors and other providers.
"Medicare actuaries predict that because of the cuts in the Democrats’ health care law, 725 hospitals, 2,352 nursing homes and 1,587 home-health agencies will become unprofitable," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp noted in questioning Berwick Thursday.
Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, says 300 doctors in his state have already dropped Medicare patients.
"The Medicare actuary warned that the half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts in the Democrat health care law are so drastic that providers might end their participation in the program," Johnson said.
But Democrats rushed to the defense of the law, arguing that Republican efforts to repeal it would cause even more problems.
"Repeal would do more then turn back the clock. It would rip off its hands," Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said.
Berwick was pressed on several of his previous statements, such as saying that competition doesn't help in health care, that he loved the British state-run health system, and another quote in which he said a single-payer system, meaning government-administered health care, is "the only sensible approach."
Camp asked him if he still feels that way, and got a lengthy treatise on the benefits of the new law. . . .