In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Medicare Chief: Obamacare Is Extending Medicare's Life

Obama--6
AP Photo

"The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries," said Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare."

The Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare spending by some $716 billion over the next 10 years by reducing payments to private insurers under Medicare Advantage as well as hospitals and other providers. The law also aims to save money over time by transitioning Medicare from paying providers for quantity of services to quality of care.

"These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare's long term financial issues," Tavenner said.

In his statement on the Trustees report, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also noted that Medicare's solvency projections have changed after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to Obamacare's enactment, Medicare's trust fund was projected to exhaust around 2016.

Obama administration officials, facing an unending barrage of attacks from Republicans seeking to cripple the law, have been quick to highlight its benefits -- both budgetary and tangible for consumers. The latest trustees' report gives them a new argument in its favor.

Republicans have been back and forth on Obamacare's Medicare cuts, attacking them in political contexts but assuming the same level of savings in their budget proposals.

About The Author

Rbzswuatscnipmb5upus

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Progress overnight on deployment of new commenting system. We hope to move into a short beta-testing phase shortly.