US spends $3.5 billion on medicare health savings program
The US spent $3 billion on the Medicare health savings programs, a figure that will be more than double what it spent on the $4.6 trillion omnibus bill that passed the House last week, a new report shows.
The Senate’s bill, passed late last month, would have cut Medicare spending by $8.5 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“This spending represents a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries receiving Medicare, but it is far less than what the Senate’s Omnibus bill would have reduced overall,” the CBO said.
Medicare beneficiaries would still get more than $6,000 per person in total benefits, which includes medical and dental care, and $4,400 per beneficiary in per capita payments for certain services.
The Medicare program is the largest in the US, accounting for about 75% of total spending, according the CBO.
The House passed the omnibus measure in a 219-201 vote on Friday, and it passed the Senate on Monday.
The CBO did not give a timeline for the Medicare cuts in the omnibibus bill, and some lawmakers have expressed concerns about the number.
“The Senate bill would end Medicare as we know it, and that is bad news for seniors, and we have a lot of work to do to get the Senate to the table to come up with a plan that addresses these concerns,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, during a Senate floor debate on the bill.
“Medicare will be at a very critical point in time.
The time is ripe for us to come together and come up at least with a solution that protects seniors and their families.”