Cutting Medicare will “shift the costs” to the private sector, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters yesterday in a White House briefing.
Nor will cutting Medicare do anything to retard the growth of the cost of healthcare, she said. “You don’t do anything about the trajectory the U.S. is on … unless you concentrate on the underlying costs.”
In turn, Medicare as a “major, public financing system” can be employed to tamp down health care costs, she said.
As Congress debates the federal budget and much of that conversation swirls around cutting Medicare or eliminating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the secretary said she hoped legislators “will get to the point where they’ll become more engaged in these systems.” She cited several statistics where she believed the ACA has helped to contain healthcare costs in the nation. “The early signs are incredibly reassuring.”