WASHINGTON — A key Obama-era initiative was supposed to save Medicare money by testing new policies for cutting health care costs. It has so far failed to do so, according to nonpartisan congressional budget experts, and it’s not expected to save money anytime soon.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act created a government center, named the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, that was given $10 billion over a decade to test new Medicare and Medicaid pay policies. It has since been funded at the same level for another 10 years.
Republicans have attacked the center over the years. Although most of its pilot programs involve lowering hospital spending, some of the center’s initiatives aiming to lower spending on drugs have often provoked GOP ire. Most recently, they attacked the center’s proposal to cut Medicare pay for drugs that receive accelerated approvals. The Trump administration also used pilot programs to cut drug spending, including its failed attempt to tie Medicare drug payments to prices abroad.