Sunday, March 4, 2012

Obama Defies Medicare Trigger Law, Again

This is the fourth year in a row he has ignored it.

"The president must not be aware of the so-called “Medicare trigger” because, for the fourth year in a row, he’s ignored it. By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

Specifically, the law mandates that the Medicare Trustees issue the warning when, for two consecutive years, they determine that general revenues will account for more than 45 percent of Medicare’s outlays for the current fiscal year or any of the next six fiscal years. In other words, when the Medicare trust fund will cover no more than 55 percent of the program in an upcoming fiscal year, the Trustees are bound by law to warn the president and the president is bound by law to respond to the warning with a plan for reform.

The Trustees issued just such a warning in their last report (the fifth consecutive year they’ve attempted to trigger reform), but the president has not responded to the warning (the fourth consecutive year he’s ignored it). The deadline was Tuesday at midnight.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions aren’t happy about the president’s negligence and sent a letter to him to demand his proposal. Given that he’s willing to ignore the law, it’s doubtful a letter will compel the president to act — but, at the very least, it should help to call attention to the president’s lack of seriousness on this issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Like what you read; Subscribe/Fan/Follow