WASHINGTON---On the six-month anniversary of the $2.6 trillion health bill becoming law, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch participated in a forum evaluating Don Berwick whom the Administration appointed to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) without the consent of Congress, the state of Medicare and Medicaid, and the implementation of the $2.6 trillion health law. Dr. Berwick declined an invitation to appear at today’s forum.
Hatch delivered the following statement at the beginning of the forum:
I would like to express my disappointment about the absence of Dr. Berwick at this forum. Today marks the 6-month anniversary of the passage of the partisan health care law.
To me, it represents another missed opportunity for us to have an open and honest dialogue on the impact of the new health care law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is in charge of the biggest federal health care programs – Medicare, Medicaid. It has a bigger budget than the Pentagon and its actions directly impact the lives of almost 100 million Americans.
I recently learned that more than 500 Utah seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage coverage this year. These seniors, just as I do, want to know, why they were continually promised by the Administration that they would be able to keep the coverage of their choice? I fear this is only the beginning and it is essential that we fully understand the consequences facing our seniors.
In a recent letter to me and Senator Grassley, Dr. Berwick indicated that he will hopefully make an appearance before the full committee. I hope its sooner than later. And I mean very soon.