Energy and Commerce Leaders Respond to Medicare Trustees Report

April 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Republican leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee responded to the latest Medicare Trustees report, released today, warning that a weakened economy and failure to enact meaningful reforms to place entitlements on a more secure footing is leaving our nation financially vulnerable and seniors less secure for the future.

"A year has passed since the last Medicare Trustees report, and without leadership from this president, all we have to show for it is that we're another year closer to Medicare bankruptcy. Today's report reminds us that when the economy is weak, it reverberates throughout our fiscal house," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "These issues are all interconnected - high energy prices hamstring economic growth, which contributes to the deteriorating finances of our seniors' safety net. And sadly, this report doesn't even paint a complete picture of the challenges we face because it relies on unrealistic assumptions about future budget cuts."

"Two separate reports on Medicare illustrate both the dire straits the program is in and the irresponsibility of the present administration. First, this morning we heard from the Government Accountability Office that the administration is spending billions of dollars on Medicare Advantage quality bonuses with little regard to the actual quality of coverage. Then this afternoon, the Medicare Trustees reminded us that the program will be bankrupt by 2024. We simply can't keep playing politics with a program that tens of millions of Americans rely on," said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), chairman of the Health Subcommittee. "Again this year, Republicans put forward a plan to strengthen and save Medicare. We're still waiting to hear from the President."

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