After much heated debate on the U.S. debt limit, the Budget Control Act of 2011, containing more than $900 billion in spending reductions over 10 years, was passed on August 2. The members of the Super Committee created by that law are hard at work, and the process is in gear to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction — either through Congress adopting the committee’s recommendations or through further automatic spending cuts.
What exactly is called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011? What steps follow now that the members of the Super Committee have been named? What role do the committees of jurisdiction play? How will stakeholders, governments and beneficiaries respond to the super committee’s proposals? What are the implications for health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?
To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and four cosponsors presented a September 12 briefing. Panelists were: Katherine Hayes, George Washington University; Bob Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Bill Hoagland, vice president at CIGNA and former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee; Gail Wilensky, Project HOPE and former administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS); Dean Rosen, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc. and former chief health care advisor to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist; and Chris Jennings, Jennings Policy Strategies and former senior health care advisor to President Bill Clinton. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Diane Rowland of Kaiser co-moderated.
Along with the Alliance, cosponsoring the event were The Commonwealth Fund, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The SCAN Foundation. This briefing begins a four-briefing series on the deficit reduction process. Future briefings will take place in October, November and December.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)