President Obama’s Budget is now available online 

There was a good bit of early discussion  this morning based on background briefings provided by the White House last night.  ABC had an early summary of the Medicare related provisions included in the HHS portion of the budget.

  The 10 year  savings (detailed in Summary Table S-6) are:   

  • $8.1 billion in savings by means-testing Part other words, raising  premium costs for higher income seniors 
  •  $177 billion in savings by reducing wasteful overpayments to private insurers in the Medicare Advantage program by establishing competitive bidding 
  • $260 million to ensure that Medicare makes appropriate payments for imaging services through the use of radiology benefit managers. 
  •  $37 billion by basing Medicare home health payments  on actual costs. 
  •  $23.9 billion reallocation of Medicare and Medicaid Improvement funds 
  •  $19.6 billion saved by requiring drug makers to increase the rebates on drugs sold to Medicaid and Medicare/Medicaid “dual eligible” beneficiaries from 15% to 21%  
  •   $17.8 billion Medicare hospital payments reduction by bundling inpatient  and outpatient reimbursement to include 30-days after discharge. 

 On the expense side in Medicare, this budget proposes:

  • New efforts to allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from other countries 
  •  Health IT and treatment effectiveness research in Medicare, including new demonstration projects to evaluate payment reforms

  For Social Security the 2010 Budget proposal includes:

  • 10% funding increase to target disability claim backlogs. This  amount includes resources to ensure increased staffing in 2010 and will allow SSA to increase the level of work processed
  • $759 million for SSA program integrity.  This would reverse a decline in funding seen over recent years to ensure benefits are paid only to those eligible and in correct amounts. 

The 2010 Budget also includes Retirement Account/Savings Provisions which: 

  • Lay the groundwork for future establishment of a system of automatic workplace pensions, to operate along side Social Security. Under this proposal, employees would be automatically enrolled in workplace pension plans. In cases where employers do not now offer a retirement plan, they would be required to enroll their employees in a direct-deposit IRA account that is compatible with existing direct-deposit payroll systems. Employees may opt out if they choose.