White House Budget: Where the Savings Will Come From

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog has posted a helpful table summarizing the proposed savings in health care in the Obama budget. The source document is here (page 127-8).

Some of the Obama budget savings are inarguable assuming that they will pass Congress, including increasing drug premiums for high income Medicare beneficiaries and decreasing amount paid to Medicare Advantage plans. Others might be hard to achieve, including reducing readmission rates. Many of these potential savings will be controversial - including limiting itemized deductions for high income taxpayers, and employing radiology benefit managers. Some of the savings might lead to increased costs or decreased access elsewhere in the system, like cuts in home health payment rates.

The Obama administration is certainly not taking the "easy" road. The title of the budget document is "A New Era of Responsibility." It will be very interesting to see how this budget weathers the Congressional process.