When we talk about policy uncertainty these days, most of the time we are referring to the fiscal cliff.
This morning, the National Coalition on Health Care held a forum in the Rayburn House Office Building entitled “Innovations in Health Care Delivery and Benefits: Real World Solutions.” The forum highlighted three success stories in improving quality and lowering costs in the delivery of health care. In policy discussions held in Washington around reforming federal health spending, real world successes and examples are often left out of the conversation.
One of the criticisms of raising the retirement age is the belief that older workers delaying retirement may "crowd out" younger workers and cause higher youth unemployment. This theory, also known as the "lump of labor theory," is challenged in a new paper by Alicia Munnell and April Wu of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
We did our best to live fact-check the first presidential debate on Twitter, laying out the facts on fiscal issues. Of course, time constraints and the 140-character limit prevented us from getting to all the issues or explaining them all in full. Here's what we missed or want to clarify:
In the fourth and final event in the series Strengthening of America, "The Imperative of Entitlement and Health Care Cost Growth," former Members of Congress joined budget and health experts to discuss entitlement reform and controlling federal health care costs. As we've explained many times before, health care cost growth projections far exceed growth in all other areas of federal spending.
A column in The Wall Street Journal today asks "Should the Eligibility Age for Medicare Be Raised?" Taking the "yes" side is CRFB president Maya MacGuineas, arguing it is a fair and effective way to lower Medicare spending. MacGuineas says that because life expectancy at age 65 has increased significantly since Medicare was first enacted, the eligibility age should reflect this increase.
We have talked before about the long run unsustainable growth of our health care spending. But when it comes to controlling Medicare and Medicaid costs, there will inevitably be plenty of room for political attacks. In a video and an accompanying article in The Wall Street Journal, David Wessel explains that health care spending deserves reasoning, not rhetoric.
As the presidential campaigns have turned their attention to Medicare (which we analyzed two weeks ago), each one frames the issue as protecting Medicare benefits that past and present American workers have paid for.
Today, in "The Government We Deserve," Eugene Steuerle wrote an opinion piece about the need for budget constraints alongside health care reforms. He notes that competition in the health care market place has the potential to lower costs, but without adequate budget constraints, it may not succeed.
Today, The New England Journal of Medicine published an interesting contrast of health proposals from leading health policy experts representing the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute. As you can imagine, the approaches to cost-control differed at times, but the two plans shared many of the same goals and targets for health reform.