For many lawmakers and citizens, this news, while disturbing, was certainly not surprising. This is exactly why Republicans are demanding that we stop raiding the current program and reform the system for future generations. Doing nothing is not an option. The status quo will mean the end of Medicare as we know it.

Yet instead putting forth new ideas to reform the program and use the savings to shore up Medicare for future generations, Democrats transferred $500 billion out of Medicare to fund their latest entitlement program, the massive health care law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE admitted as much when she appeared before the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee in March.  

And on March 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Chief Actuary Rick Foster also appeared before the Health Subcommittee and testified that changes included in the health care law will cut funding for hospitals, skilled nursing homes, diagnostic labs and many other services by more than half the levels under prior law. In addition, future Medicare payments will be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid payments. These rates would cause a significant number of providers to leave the market.

After raiding the current system, the health care law takes one aspect of Medicare that everyone agrees is broken and uses it as a model for the future. The health care law establishes the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) as a tool that is supposed to hold down costs; it is modeled after the  failed formula that sets the underfunded Medicare physician reimbursement rates. President Obama recently doubled down on this controversial rationing board, and it seems to be the Democrats' only proposal. I have serious concerns about what the IPAB will do to seniors' ability to access quality health care, and I’m not alone in my criticism. In fact, several medical associations have publicly expressed concern that the IPAB could present unrealistic targets for physicians to meet.

We may not all agree on ways to reform the system, but at the very least it is time for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to wake up and admit that we can’t continue to defend the status quo. These new reports from the Medicare trustees make that much perfectly clear. During the health care debate, Republicans offered several dozen alternatives to the partisan plan that eventually became the health care law. The current debate over entitlement reform shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I would encourage those on the other side of the aisle to set aside the partisanship and put forward their ideas so we can work together on a path forward. 

The writer is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.