Medicare has been a keenly debated topic in discussions of how to reduce the deficit. It accounts for a large and growing share of both federal spending and of the national economy, although the projected pace of growth is now at a historic low. Its policies often set the pace for the rest of the health care system.
Proposals to generate Medicare savings abound, from the various commissions recommending change, members of Congress and others. Which proposals will, or should, receive serious consideration by the super committee in its quest to find $1.2 trillion or more in savings by its November 23 deadline? What impact would these changes have on beneficiaries, providers and insurers? Would stakeholders prefer the automatic, but capped, reductions in the sequester to any recommendations on Medicare reductions the super committee might make?
To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and four cosponsors presented an October 11 briefing. Panelists were: two former administrators of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Tom Scully of Alston and Bird and Mark McClellan of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform; Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation; Marilyn Moon of the American Institutes for Research; and Joe Antos of the American Enterprise Institute. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Karen Davis of The Commonwealth Fund will co-moderate.
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 is the second in a four-briefing series on the mechanics, dynamics and politics of deficit reduction. Future briefings will take place in November and December.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)