• Center for American Progress Embraces “the Antithesis of Science”; Throws Seniors to Wolves

    From: WatchdogWatch.org

    by Winston

    The Center for American Progress (CAP) has embraced a Medicare competitive bidding program that was castigated by over two-hundred academicians, including several Nobel laureates, as “the antithesis of science” which “contradicts all that is known about proper market design.”

    The 244 signatories to the letter to President Obama warned that the “problems with the CMS auction grow worse upon closer inspection” and that the “complete lack of transparency is inappropriate for a government auction.”

    Apparently, a complete lack of science combined with a complete lack transparency for spending billions of taxpayer dollars suits CAP just fine since they described competitive bidding as “a program that has been proven to work and to yield substantial savings.”

    What are CAP’s thoughts about Medicare’s durable medical equipment bidding program which has been condemned by over two hundred economists and auction experts from universities including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, CalTech, Chicago, Stanford, Rice, Michigan, Columbia, Berkeley, Universidad Carlos III, University of Siena, University College London, University of Maryland and the Paris School of Economics? CAP stated that the Medicare program’s “benefits to seniors and taxpayers were substantial….”

    Unfortunately, CAP seems to know more about the program’s economic projections than about its human cost.

    As the economist who spearheaded the letter explained based on his analysis of the Round 1 bidding data, there has been a “large reduction in claims following enactment of the program…”

    Professor Cramton further explained that “Recent CMS data show the implication of the decline in utilization: higher risk of death, higher frequency of ER visits and hospitalization, and longer hospital stays. These results suggest that the cost savings in Medicare DME are dwarfed by the much higher costs to Medicare coming from increased hospital care. Essentially the flawed auction program is substituting low-cost DME expenses with high-cost hospital care.”

    CAP owes seniors an apology for supporting a deeply flawed, opaque program that is undermining basic health care for Medicare beneficiaries. A good way to start apologizing would be by opposing the ill-designed Medicare program which will save money only by putting seniors in early graves.

  • See, Letter signed 244 economists
  • See, CAP article
  • See, analysis of CMS claims data
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