WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s speech on deficit reduction, in which he outlined changes to Medicare and Medicaid and offered a plan to increase taxes:
“Today the president said we need to “˜live within our means.’ While I could not agree more with his goal, I believe there is a significant difference between increasing the government’s means and spending within our means. After submitting budgets three years in a row with record-level deficits, the president is now asking the taxpayers to bail out the federal government. Rather than increase taxes, Washington needs to readjust its spending habits.
“In addition to tax increases, the president’s plan would attempt to achieve Medicare savings through health care rationing and price controls by increasing the power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a board of bureaucrats empowered to make budgetary and reimbursement decisions for Medicare.
“Medicare Part D’s low premiums have saved Medicare $218 billion from 2006-2014. In fact, the CBO has consistently held to its analysis that private Part D plans can effectively negotiate savings in Medicare and that government interference in these negotiations is unlikely to achieve any significant savings unless government bureaucrats create a one-size-fits-all national formulary. This means that a government bureaucrat rather than your doctor could determine which drugs you take.
“Instead of seeking more government micromanagement of our health care system and more taxes to fund Washington’s profligate spending, I urge the president to join Republicans in a serious discussion about cutting up the national credit card, stabilizing the health care safety net, and protecting future generations.”