Foster: Healthcare Law Will Not Reduce Costs Or Allow Americans To Keep Plans.

The AP (1/27, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports, "Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare’s independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday." The law "probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee." The AP adds, "The White House responded to Foster’s testimony in a blog post by Stephanie Cutter, a top aide helping to guide the political strategy on healthcare," saying, "Once again, we disagree. … History shows that it is possible to implement measures that will save money for Medicare and the federal government."

The Hill (1/27, Pecquet) reports in its Healthwatch blog, "In addition to defending the administration’s commitment to reducing Medicare spending in the law, Cutter outlined several provisions of the law that aim to lower healthcare costs. These include state insurance exchanges, a new Medicare innovation center and incentives for healthcare providers to coordinate care." She wrote, "These policies will bring down healthcare costs…but they are undervalued by the Actuary."