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Thread: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainties'

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    GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainties'

    GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainties' - FoxNews.com

    Though projected Medicare savings were used to build the case for the Obama administration's health care overhaul, the GAO report -- rather, non-report -- declared "significant uncertainties" in those assumptions.

    The audit stated that as a result, "we are unable to, and we do not, express an opinion on the 2010 Statement of Social Insurance," which covers long-term budget projections for Social Security, Medicare and other benefits programs. The statement is the latest budgetary document to raise questions about whether the government's plans for reining in Medicare will hold.

    "We couldn't determine whether the numbers were fairly presented in the statement," Robert Dacey, chief GAO accountant, told FoxNews.com. "There are a lot of concerns about whether or not (planned cost reductions) could be achieved."
    The GAO report cited an alternative projection showing the long-term shortfall over 75 years could actually be $12.4 trillion more than the $22.8 trillion estimated by the federal government. The huge gap between possible budget scenarios made it virtually impossible to weigh in, Dacey said.

    The office noted concerns that Medicare costs will probably exceed those in current projections, in part because of a law that would nix planned reductions in doctor payments through the end of next year. The report specifically questioned a projection that doctor payment rates would be reduced by 30 percent over three years.

    "There are significant uncertainties concerning the achievement of these projected decreases in Medicare costs," GAO said.
    Wow. The Obama administration experts at work. Gotta love that 'hopey-changy' thing, huh.

    The administrations numbers are so hopelessly ****ed up, the GAO can't even properly audit them!

    And without knowing the real numbers on Medicare, you can't count on any savings there for use in paying for that monstrosity called Obamacare. Sweet.

    Way to go, Barry!

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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    And this is a surprise? Just ask Pelosi or Reed, they will give you the straight facts.

    It has been my experience that most of the time what the govt/Congress tells you about a program and its costs/savings is mostly BS.
    "I can explain it to you but, I can't understand it for you"

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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    GAO estimates are always a crapshoot anyway. They're often laughably wrong. Anyway, I'm not too worried about it. Health care costs for many procedures should fall dramatically (and the quality of service should improve dramatically) in the next 10-20 years, as genome sequencing, stem cell therapy, senescence treatments, and nanotechnology completely revolutionize the field of medicine. It will make preventative medicine much more commonplace, which should reduce the overall cost of health care to a small fraction of what it is now.

    I'm not at all worried about the sustainability of our health care spending. Government projections always assume that our grandchildren will have no better medical care than we do, which is a ridiculous assumption.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Anyway, I'm not too worried about it. Health care costs for many procedures should fall dramatically (and the quality of service should improve dramatically) in the next 10-20 years, as genome sequencing, stem cell therapy, senescence treatments, and nanotechnology completely revolutionize the field of medicine. It will make preventative medicine much more commonplace, which should reduce the overall cost of health care to a small fraction of what it is now.
    Yeah... Good luck with that. Unless you're actually kidding, in which case very well done. Very funny.
    Last edited by buck; 12-25-10 at 01:47 PM.

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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by buck View Post
    Yeah... Good luck with that. Unless you're actually kidding, in which case very well done. Very funny.
    So you believe that our grandchildren will have no better medical care than we do, and that our projections should just assume that there is no medical progress at all in the future? Pessimistic projections of our health care expenditures are premised on exactly that assumption.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    So you believe that our grandchildren will have no better medical care than we do, and that our projections should just assume that there is no medical progress at all in the future? Pessimistic projections of our health care expenditures are premised on exactly that assumption.
    Oh no. They'll certainly have better care. I'm simply arguing the point that health costs will not fall.

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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    GAO estimates are always a crapshoot anyway. They're often laughably wrong. Anyway, I'm not too worried about it. Health care costs for many procedures should fall dramatically (and the quality of service should improve dramatically) in the next 10-20 years, as genome sequencing, stem cell therapy, senescence treatments, and nanotechnology completely revolutionize the field of medicine. It will make preventative medicine much more commonplace, which should reduce the overall cost of health care to a small fraction of what it is now.

    I'm not at all worried about the sustainability of our health care spending. Government projections always assume that our grandchildren will have no better medical care than we do, which is a ridiculous assumption.
    the GAO, a VERY competent agency, was prudent in pointing out that it was unable to concur with the optimistic assumptions
    would much rather have that frank assessment instead of a rubber stamp on bogus projections ... which blind acquiescence is so commonplace in government at all levels these days

    while i agree that health care for future generations should become much better - and you are correct in recognizing the past is prelude to come to that conclusion, your logic is undermined when you expect better health care to be provided at a reduced cost when compared to today. our per capita expenditure for health care has exploded
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by buck View Post
    Oh no. They'll certainly have better care. I'm simply arguing the point that health costs will not fall.
    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba
    your logic is undermined when you expect better health care to be provided at a reduced cost when compared to today. our per capita expenditure for health care has exploded
    Well, that's mainly because we've gotten much better quality care than in previous decades. To the extent that older treatments are even available anymore, I bet that they are much more affordable (after adjusting for inflation and PPP of course) than in the past. So I really don't have a problem with costs increasing if we're getting sufficiently better quality as a result.

    However, I don't think that even increasing costs from better quality will likely be a problem for much longer. The next few decades seem likely to be fundamentally different than the last few decades in terms of medical care, due to the types of technologies set to break through in the coming years. Although treatment has improved in the last few decades, it still works fundamentally the same way today: The patient visits the doctor with some malady, and the doctor diagnoses/treats it. That pattern will not hold for much longer. The emerging technologies that are on the horizon now (especially personalized genome sequencing and stem cell therapy) offer much more potential than merely providing better QUALITY of care, they will take us from a "sick care" economy to a preventative care economy. This should reduce the costs dramatically, since it's almost always cheaper to prevent problems from occurring than to treat them.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    the GAO, a VERY competent agency, was prudent in pointing out that it was unable to concur with the optimistic assumptions
    would much rather have that frank assessment instead of a rubber stamp on bogus projections ... which blind acquiescence is so commonplace in government at all levels these days
    I agree, but that has been their stance all along. The GAO (even when they have issued numbers) has often taken great pains to emphasize that these are just projections. The FOX News article makes it sound like this is a harbinger of the apocalypse, but all the GAO is really saying is that there is a lot of uncertainty with Medicare right now.
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    Re: GAO Gives Up on Auditing Government Over Medicare Projections, Cites 'Uncertainti

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    GAO estimates are always a crapshoot anyway. They're often laughably wrong. Anyway, I'm not too worried about it. Health care costs for many procedures should fall dramatically (and the quality of service should improve dramatically) in the next 10-20 years, as genome sequencing, stem cell therapy, senescence treatments, and nanotechnology completely revolutionize the field of medicine. It will make preventative medicine much more commonplace, which should reduce the overall cost of health care to a small fraction of what it is now.

    I'm not at all worried about the sustainability of our health care spending. Government projections always assume that our grandchildren will have no better medical care than we do, which is a ridiculous assumption.
    Not saying that this isn't possible, but people said the exact same things 20 or 30 years ago.
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