The Hill, by Sam Baker –
Sept. 09, 2012:
A handful of states will bear the brunt of the Medicare cuts in President Obama’s healthcare law.
The law’s $716 billion in Medicare savings have become highly controversial on the campaign trail as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hammer the cuts in an effort to neutralize attacks against their own Medicare plan.
Although Ryan had proposed leaving the $716 billion in cuts intact, he and Romney now say the reductions will limit seniors’ access to doctors and other health professionals.
The cuts do not come directly from benefits, but rather from Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and private insurance companies.
Providers and insurers in a handful of heavily populated states will absorb the brunt of the cuts, according to an analysis published Wednesday by the University of Minnesota.
The study found that eight states — California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — will see cuts of $20 billion or more over the next 10 years.
In the majority of U.S. states, the cuts will add up to less than $10 billion over the next decade.
The white paper, written by HSI Network researcher Robert Book and the American Action Forum’s Michael Ramlet, also provides a county-by-county breakdown of the health law’s Medicare cuts.
About one-third of the cuts would come from payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. The rest would come from lower payments to healthcare providers, particularly hospitals.