Josh Barro in Forbes exposes the impending failure of President Obama's claims to save money in Medicare:
President Obama’s own Department of Health and Human Services department is working to undo cuts to Medicare Advantage subsidies that are scheduled to take effect this fall. HHS is using a “demonstration project,” far out of scale with previous Medicare demonstrations, which will replace over 2/3 of the cuts that were scheduled for this year by offering “bonus payments” to Medicare Advantage insurers.
The Administration has apparently decided that it’s politically problematic to reduce some seniors’ benefits in advance of the election. But there is always an election coming up, and cutting Medicare spending will always mean that somebody gets less of something. Eliminating Medicare Advantage subsidies was supposed to be the low hanging fruit among the Medicare cuts in [the Affordable Care Act]. If these can’t withstand political pressure, how are IPAB’s cuts (which would hit traditional Medicare) supposed to survive?